The Worthington Kilbourne High School boys basketball team was able to slow down eighth-seeded Reynoldsburg in a Division I district second-round game but fell short of pulling off the upset.
The 26th-seeded Wolves, who had a first-round bye, lost to the host Raiders 43-37 in overtime Feb. 27 to finish 9-14 overall.
Reynoldsburg, which outscored Kilbourne 11-5 in overtime, improved to 19-5 and advanced to play ninth-seeded Gahanna in a district semifinal March 6.
"I'm so proud of our guys because they did everything we asked them to do and fought very hard," coach Tom Souder said. "Reynoldsburg's a good team, but I knew we could compete with them if we controlled the tempo and played good defense, and our kids listened and executed our game plan.
"We just needed one more basket (in regulation)."
The Wolves played without senior wing player Tyler Stern-Tucker (shoulder) and junior post player Mike Chambers (back), both of whom were sidelined with season-ending injuries.
Senior wing player Ryan Adolph had a team-high 14 points and junior point guard Seth Hill scored 12. Forward Wendell Davis had 13 points to lead the Raiders.
"I'll make no excuses, period," Souder said. "This was our team and we played well enough to put ourselves in a position to win this game."
Kilbourne went 4-10 in the OCC-Cardinal Division to tie Dublin Jerome for sixth, behind Westerville North (14-0), Dublin Scioto (11-3), Westerville South (9-5), Hilliard Darby (8-6) and Westerville Central (6-8) and ahead of Hilliard Bradley (0-14).
The Wolves split two games against Thomas Worthington, winning 64-22 on Feb. 2 at home to avenge a 53-42 loss Dec. 1 at Thomas and snapping a five-game losing streak to the Cardinals.
Thomas leads the all-time series 10-3.
"That was a great win for us," Hill said. "We came out on fire and left everything we had on the court. That game gave us momentum going into the tournament."
The Wolves lose four senior starters in Adolph, Stern-Tucker, post player Grant Hartman and wing player Jared Kortsen.
Stern-Tucker, a University of Findlay recruit, was named special mention all-league and Adolph was honorable mention all-league.
Among those expected to return are Chambers, Hill, sophomore post player J.C. Bartok and sophomore wing player Griffin Dahn.
Hill was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.
"Our seniors were there for us all summer and fall and they got our young guys going," Souder said. "Seth Hill had an amazing year and brought it every single day. We have a lot of guys coming back, but we're not going to be better just because we're a year older. It's what we do in the offseason that matters."
Cardinals struggled late in season
Thomas won 11 of its first 14 games but lost six of its last nine to finish 14-9 overall.
The Cardinals went 8-6 in the OCC-Central to finish fourth, behind Olentangy Liberty (13-1), Dublin Coffman (12-2) and Westland (9-5) and ahead of Upper Arlington (8-6), Marysville (4-10), Hilliard Davidson (2-12) and Central Crossing (0-14).
Seeded 15th, Thomas was upset by 24th-seeded Westerville Central 43-42 in the first round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 23 at home.
"We started (the season) really strong, but we didn't play as well or shoot as well during the latter part of the season and I'm not sure why," coach Bob Miller said. "Our kids practiced hard through the tournament, but it was frustrating because we just didn't play well offensively at the end of the season.
"In many games, including the Westerville Central tournament game, we looked tiny. In the tournament game, (5-foot-9 senior guard) Lance Leslie had to guard a 6-5 player, so matchups weren't always favorable for us."
The Cardinals lose six seniors, including four starters in Leslie, center Jesse Greene, point guard Will Hill and forward Jay Smallwood. The other seniors are guards Jamie Burpee and Mario Hanna.
Hill was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district. Leslie was second-team all-league and Smallwood was honorable mention all-league.
Among those expected to return are junior forward Tyrrell Stewart, who was a starter, and junior center Yemi Sholesi.
"We're losing six very good seniors, but I think we should still be good next year based on the players we have moving up," Miller said.