The transformation Tre Williams has undergone both on and off the basketball court the last three-plus years is about more than genetics.
Sure, growing two inches each of the past two years might have played a part in him losing about 20 pounds.
The spurt also helped Williams, now a 6-foot-7 senior, in his effort to develop into an inside presence for the Reynoldsburg High School boys team.
Still, Williams hardly resembles the player -- or person -- coach Scott Davis remembers when Williams joined the program as a freshman.
"He's made a physical transformation, that's for sure, that's been through a lot of hard work," Davis said. "He's slimmed down, but he's also stronger. That's helped him out. He has made himself into a heck of an athlete."
Williams has become the go-to player the Raiders have been seeking since 2016 graduate Mark Fair averaged 19.1 points during his senior season.
Coming off a season in which he averaged seven points for a team that had no players average even 11 points, Williams has been a revelation.
He scored 26 points in an opening 77-41 victory over Dayton Dunbar on Dec. 2, equaled that total in a 67-59 win over Walnut Ridge on Dec. 5 and topped those performances with 29 points in a 60-57 victory over Chillicothe on Dec. 28 in the Stephen Gussler Invitational at Thomas Worthington.
Williams was averaging 19.3 points through nine games to lead an offense that also has featured senior guard Jamiel Goliday (13.1 points) and junior guard Ben Fort (10 points).
After losing to Pickerington North 48-42 on Jan. 5, Reynoldsburg was 6-4 overall and 1-3 in the OCC-Ohio Division. The Raiders played New Albany on Jan. 9 and are preparing to close the first round of league action Friday, Jan. 12, at Lancaster.
"(I've improved) just my ability to face up, have my back to the basket and just do a lot of things," Williams said. "Getting in shape (has helped), with me just losing weight and getting stronger. I was more chunky my sophomore year and knew I had to stay in shape to play longer, so it was just a lot of running and constantly playing. I was explosive before, but it helped me get more explosive. Now I'm jumping higher and doing everything."
Williams, who plays for the same all-Ohio Red AAU team as Notre Dame recruit Dane Goodwin from Upper Arlington, has seven scholarship offers. Among the schools interested is Air Force, as well as Division II programs such as Alderson Broaddus.
"He's shown a tremendous amount of improvement physically, as well as with his skills," Davis said. "He's definitely an impact player for us."
The Raiders lost to Dublin Coffman 56-53 on Dec. 16 and followed with a 72-57 loss Dec. 22 at Pickerington Central before beating Chillicothe as well as Cincinnati La Salle 68-56 on Dec. 29 in the event at Thomas.
They lost both matchups a year ago against North. In the meeting Jan. 5, Williams scored 12 points and Fort had 11.
"We all have improvements to make," Williams said. "We just have to get better and keep working hard in practice. Our guys are pushing the ball and looking for each other, and nobody is selfish. I'm focusing right now on facing up and improving my mid-range game."
Wrestlers prep for league opener
On Thursday, Jan. 11, the wrestling team opens OCC-Ohio action against host Pickerington North and Pickerington Central.
The Raiders, according to coach Jon Forgy, are hoping to build off a solid opening month of the season.
They completed the 2017 portion of their schedule Dec. 29 and 30 by placing 20th (63) in the 39-team Chagrin Falls Kenston Invitational behind champion Macedonia Nordonia (142).
"The season is going well," Forgy said. "We're improving each week, and with the amount of youth on the team that we have, that is important. If we can keep growing at this rate then we'll be where we need to be by sectionals."
Reynoldsburg had six of its eight competitors place among the top four in their respective weight classes Dec. 16 in the Xenia Invitational. It then had four place among the top eight at Kenston.
Kyle Copas led with a third-place finish at 145 pounds. Luke Goeschel was sixth at 120, Cameron Simpson was seventh at 160 and Noah Ratliff was eighth at 152.
Copas won 11 of his first 12 matches, and Goeschel, Ratliff, Simpson and Gage Chapman (138) also have surpassed double figures in wins.
An early surprise, according to Forgy, has been freshman Isaiah Boateng at 113.
"We've had some very strong starts," Forgy said.
Newcomers aiding swimming teams
With junior Harvey Culbert back to lead the way after reaching the Division I state meet in two individual events last winter, the boys swimming and diving team expected to be competitive.
A strong freshman class led by Nate Gaver has helped the Raiders take additional strides forward.
In the Ned Reeb Invitational on Dec. 16 at Ohio State, the 200-yard medley relay and 200 freestyle relay both advanced to consolation finals. Both relays were comprised of Culbert, Gaver, senior Tanner Wooddell and junior Jared Davis.
Freshmen Jon Begeny, Dhishan Kashyap and Monty Rollins also have contributed.
"The boys have gotten off to a very solid start," coach Al Crawford said. "Our depth is our real strength."
Freshman Kasey Lichtner has led the girls so far, Crawford said, and freshmen Elli Berdan-Prettyman and Sierra Coey also have been contributors.
"We knew that some talented freshmen that were year-round swimmers were joining our squad," Crawford said.
Below are the coming schedules for the Reynoldsburg boys basketball, girls basketball, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 12 -- At Lancaster
*Jan. 11 -- Home vs. Lancaster. The Raiders beat the Golden Gales 75-52 on Dec. 5.
Jan. 14 -- Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame in Classic in the Country at Berlin Hiland
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 13 -- Northeast Classic at Branin Natatorium in Canton and Teays Valley Invitational at Pickaway County YMCA
*Jan. 11 -- At Pickerington North with Pickerington Central