Reynoldsburg High School boys basketball coach Scott Davis believes the fact that his team needed overtime to get past 26th-seeded Worthington Kilbourne in the second round of the Division I district tournament is nothing to be ashamed of.
The eighth-seeded Raiders defeated visiting Kilbourne 43-37 on Feb. 27 to improve to 19-5. That same night, fifth-seeded Dublin Scioto lost to 10th-seeded Pickerington Central 59-57 in overtime and third-seeded Olentangy Liberty escaped with a 49-47 win over 23rd-seeded Dresden Tri-Valley. The next day, ninth-seeded Gahanna needed overtime to beat 21st-seeded Olentangy 79-68.
The Raiders played Gahanna in a district semifinal March 6 at Westerville Central.
"It's a tough game, and you look around at some of the other scores and a lot of people had some tough games (in the second round)," Davis said. "Kilbourne had a really good game plan. They took the air out of the ball, played a zone and it was a low-possession game. As a result, it was close and we couldn't really shake them. They did a good job of limiting (senior forward Wendell Davis') touches. But the good thing is that we had some guys really step up and not just wait on Wendell."
The Reynoldsburg-Gahanna winner will play second-seeded Westerville North or 13th-seeded Newark in a district final at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
The Raiders did not face Westerville North during the regular season but split a pair of OCC-Ohio Division games against Newark, winning 54-36 on Jan. 8 at home and losing 67-57 on Feb. 8 at Newark.
The district champion will play Dublin Coffman, New Albany, Olentangy Orange or Pickerington Central in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. March 14 at the Fairgrounds. The regional final is 7 p.m. March 16 at the same site.
Kilbourne, which finished 9-14, nearly beat Scioto in its regular-season finale Feb. 15 before falling 45-42.
Davis had a team-high 13 points against Kilbourne. Sophomore guard Lloyd Chatman scored all 12 of his points after halftime, including seven in overtime when the Raiders outscored the Wolves 11-5.
Senior forward Mike Smith added six points.
"There have been times when we haven't shot it well and, when we don't shoot it well, zones are going to be effective," coach Davis said. "We just didn't have a lot of offensive possessions because of Kilbourne's patience. They hit six 3s, including one to put it into overtime. It put importance on each possession."
Wrestling team to return most of lineup
The wrestling team's season ended with performances by seniors Jordan Reed (195 pounds) and Nick Johnston (170) in the Division I district tournament Feb. 22 and 23 at Hilliard Darby.
The good news for the Raiders is that all but Reed, Johnston and Jonathan Copas (106) are expected to return from their regular lineup.
Among those expected returnees are five who placed in the top six in a 10-team sectional tournament Feb. 16 at Watkins Memorial.
"(Junior) Nathan Smiley was somebody who came through big for us this year and was a district alternate," Reed said. "We were all so proud of him. That's what wrestling is all about, taking tough losses and coming back."
Smiley, who competed at 120 and finished 22-18 on the season, was one of three who placed fifth at sectional, along with freshman Dominic Hathaway (113, 19-18) and junior James Love (182, 26-6).
Reed was a sectional runner-up and Johnston placed third to advance to district as the Raiders finished eighth (84.5) behind champion Hilliard Bradley (205).
Also placing at sectional were sophomore Christian Eubank at heavyweight (sixth, 10-10) and junior Jalen Jones at 126 (sixth, 21-15). Junior Raphael Turner went 0-2 at 220 but finished 21-13.
Also competing at sectional were Copas and junior Alex Meeks (138).
At district, Reed went 4-2, beating Grove City's Tavon Hudson 9-3 in the fifth-place match to finish 36-10 and conclude his career with 100 victories. Johnston went 1-2 at district to finish 30-10.
The top four finishers in each weight class at district advanced to the state tournament Feb. 28-March 2 at Ohio State.
Reynoldsburg was 30th (14) at district behind champion Marysville (163) as 35 teams scored.
The Raiders went 2-5 in the OCC-Ohio to place sixth, behind co-champions Pickerington Central (6-1) and Pickerington North (6-1), Gahanna (5-2), Lancaster (5-2) and Grove City (3-4) and ahead of Groveport (1-6) and Newark (0-7).
In the inaugural state team tournament, eighth-seeded Reynoldsburg lost to top-seeded Mount Vernon 63-9 in a first-round match in Division I Region 6-B.
Swim teams should remain mostly intact
All but seniors Josh Dorsett and Connor Svoboda of the boys swimming and diving team and senior Victoria Suitor of the girls team are eligible to return next season.
Included in the list of expected returnees is sophomore Morgan McCafferty, who made her second Division I state appearance in the 100-yard backstroke on Feb. 22 and 23 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
McCafferty, who finished 12th (57.7 seconds) at sta te as a freshman, placed 10th (57.14) this season. Her performance produced seven points for the Raiders, who finished 44th behind champion Cincinnati Ursuline (234) as 55 teams scored.
Other top expected returnees for the girls team include junior Sara Kohs, sophomores Marisa Glusich, DrewAnne Maffett and Leah Svoboda and freshman Acadia Gaver.
The girls finished third (205) in the OCC-Ohio meet Jan. 25 and 26 at New Albany, behind Pickerington North (306) and Gahanna (297.5) and ahead of Pickerington Central (175), Lancaster (129), Grove City (107.5) and Newark (30).
In the 12-team sectional Feb. 9 at Upper Arlington, the girls placed sixth (91) behind champion UA (463). Advancing to district were Gaver in the 500 freestyle (5:34.26, 18th), Glusich in the 100 breaststroke (1:12.85, 18th) and 200 free (2:06.4, 24th), Kohs in the 100 back (1:03.7, 15th), McCafferty in the 100 back (59.72, third) and 100 butterfly (1:02.04, 14th) and Leah Svoboda in the 100 fly (1:05.77, 29th) and 200 individual medley (2:24.46, 28th). The 200 free relay (1:46.41, 13th), 200 medley relay (1:56.72, 10th) and 400 free relay (4:33.79, 29th) also advanced.
The girls placed 18th (41) at district Feb. 16 at Ohio State behind champion UA (491) as 24 teams scored.
"I'm very, very happy because we had some good, fast swims (at district)," coach Stephanie Kiss said.
The boys team is eligible to return junior D.J. Jenkins, sophomores Hayden Stratman and Devin Wooddell and freshman Christian Morgan.
The boys finished seventh (75) in the league meet, behind Pickerington North (349), Lancaster (197), Grove City (187), Gahanna (186) and Pickerington Central (169) and ahead of Newark (48).
In the sectional at UA, the boys placed 12th (12) behind champion UA (351). Advancing to district were Dorsett, Svoboda, Jenkins and Wooddell in the 200 free relay (1:45.52, 10th) and in the 200 medley relay (1:59.64, 10th).
The boys did not score at district as UA was first (380) and 24 teams scored.