The Hilliard Davidson High School girls basketball team began the second half of the season looking for consistency.
Coach Joy Taylor said her team has played well at times, but also has struggled as it was 6-6 overall before playing Olentangy Orange on Jan. 9 and is 3-2 in the OCC-Central Division.
That lack of consistency was evident in a 40-35 loss at Darby on Jan. 6 as the Wildcats jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter, but couldn't maintain the strong start.
Davidson, which led 26-14 at halftime, scored just nine points in the second half.
"This is something we've been struggling with all year," Taylor said. "We've gone spans of minutes without scoring. In every loss, it's a common factor for us. We've had a lot of good games where we've played well and somewhere in that segment of the game we'll have six to nine minutes where we don't score. It's like a snowball effect."
With the Wildcats leading 30-16 early in the third quarter, freshman guard Brianna O'Connor left the game after aggravating an ankle injury. She returned in the fourth quarter and finished with 10 points.
Junior guard Emily Simon led Davidson with 12 points.
"We're a young team," said O'Connor, a starter. "We just need to mesh better. We have 10 more (regular-season) games and we'll get there towards the end of the season, but right now we just need to focus on playing team ball and not trying to think ahead of the game and pushing it forward by ourselves. We need to play as a team and that will get us to where we should be."
The Wildcats played Darby without starting point guard Sydney Petersen, a sophomore who was out because of illness.
Davidson was looking for a sweep of its Hilliard rivals after defeating Bradley 30-19 on Dec. 9 at home.
"We always talk about winning Hilliard and we had a chance to do it this year and now we don't," Taylor said. "It's tough. We had a really good first half, but it takes more than a first half."
The Wildcats turned in a dominating effort in a 63-18 win at Westland on Jan. 5.
Simon had 15 points and junior guard Jadah Dixon scored 11.
The strong performance against the Cougars made the second half against Darby even more frustrating for Taylor and her players.
"We have some growing up to do," Taylor said. "We're playing a lot of young kids, but we're halfway through (the season) now. The message to the girls is we're not young, we have to play better. The scoreless stretches have really hurt us."
Taylor is hoping for a strong finish to the regular season in preparation of the Division I district tournament, which begins Feb. 17.
"We have 10 (regular-season) games left and we come together and play for a good stretch, but we haven't finished some games," Taylor said before the game against Orange. "I feel like our team is close to coming together. ...We're hoping to be peaking at the end of the season when it really counts."
Through 12 games, Simon was averaging a team-high 12.3 points, followed by O'Connor (8.0) and senior forward Allie Klein (7.8).
Boys basketball team improves play
After beginning the season 1-4, the boys basketball team had won four consecutive games entering its contest against Orange on Jan. 9.
The Wildcats were 5-4 overall before facing the Pioneers and are 2-2 in the OCC-Central.
Gage Keys had 21 points, Jacob Drees scored 12 and Christian Gilliland added 11 in a 60-28 win over visiting Westland on Jan. 5. Davidson outscored the Cougars 28-7 in the second half.
The Wildcats defeated visiting Bradley 37-35 on Dec. 29 as M.J. Rasoul and Caleb Stimmel each scored nine points.
Davidson will be looking for a sweep of its Hilliard rivals when it plays host to Darby on Jan. 20.
"The guys have done a great job recently of buying in, playing together and unselfish, and we've been able to put four quarters together," coach Tim Congrove said. "We've been a little more consistent. I'm very proud of the way we've been playing. It's one possession at a time."
Wrestling team to open league action
The wrestling team begins its OCC-Central schedule Thursday, Jan. 11, at Upper Arlington.
The Wildcats then will compete in the Porter Memorial Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 13, at Bradley.
Davidson finished seventh (95 points) in the eight-team event last season, behind champion Lancaster (190).
Gio DiSabato finished first at 120 pounds and Micah Dusseau was second at 113.
The Wildcats tied Aurora for 25th (63.5) of 48 teams, behind champion Detroit Catholic Central (200), in the 57th annual Brecksville Holiday Tournament on Dec. 29 and 30 at Brecksville-Broadview Heights.
DiSabato placed fourth at 126.
Below are the coming schedules for the Davidson boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, gymnastics, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 12 -- At Marysville
Jan. 16 -- At Grove City
*Jan. 12 -- Home vs. Marysville
Jan. 16 -- At Pickerington North
Jan. 16 -- Centennial at Sequoia Pro Bowl
Jan. 13 -- McGee Invitational at Dublin Coffman
Jan. 17 -- At *Dublin Coffman with Delaware, Dublin Jerome, Dublin Scioto, Bradley and Darby
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 12 -- At Upper Arlington
Jan. 13 -- Bradley, Darby and Olentangy at Hilliard YMCA
*Jan. 11 -- At Upper Arlington
Jan. 13 -- Porter Memorial Tournament at Bradley