The Hilliard Davidson High School girls basketball team might be playing its best basketball of the season.
And it comes at the perfect time.
The Wildcats enter the Division I district tournament having won four of their last five games.
"We've started to play a little bit more consistently than we did throughout the season, which has been really nice," coach Joy Taylor said. "We're having a lot more people contribute every game and that's definitely what we want to be happening at this time of the year."
Davidson is seeded 25th in the 50-team district tournament and visits 21st-seeded Dublin Scioto in a first-round game Saturday, Feb. 17. The winner plays host to 33rd-seeded Watkins Memorial in the second round Feb. 23, with that winner advancing to a semifinal Feb. 28 at neutral site to be determined.
The Wildcats finished the regular season at 11-11 overall, while Scioto was 11-10 before playing Dublin Jerome on Feb. 13.
"We know that Scioto has some good players and they're pretty athletic," Taylor said. "They're capable of doing things defensively that could take us out of our game, so we have to be ready for some pressure defenses from them. For us, it's about playing together and taking care of the basketball, the stuff we've been talking about all season. I'm always confident in our defense."
Davidson closed OCC-Central Division play by defeating Westland 78-27 on Feb. 9 behind 19 points from Allie Klein, 14 from Emily Simon and 11 from Audrey Kaufman.
"We're working as a team better and, when you do that, you play better," Klein said.
The Wildcats went 6-4 in the OCC-Central to finish third, behind Dublin Coffman (10-0) and Upper Arlington (8-2) and ahead of Marysville (4-6), Central Crossing (2-8) and Westland (0-10).
Coffman and UA are seeded second and seventh, respectively, in the district tournament.
Davidson was competitive in its two games against UA, falling 40-36 on Dec. 15 and 63-52 on Jan. 16.
The Wildcats' lone blemish in their final five games of the regular season was a 38-33 loss to Olentangy on Feb. 6. Klein scored a team-high 13 points.
"I'm pretty happy with (our record)," Klein said. "We could have won a lot of the more closer games and we could be better than 11-11."
Klein, a senior, hopes to close her prep career with a postseason run.
"(The postseason) is fun, but it's nerve-wracking because I don't want the season to end," she said. "I'm happy with my career. I'm happy with the friendships I made and my coaches have made a big impact on my life. It's nice meeting different people and I'll miss them."
Davidson is seeking its first winning season since 2012-13 when it finished 20-4.
"We could have been better than what we are, but we're definitely better than we've been the last few years," Taylor said. "We're definitely on the upswing as a program."
Swimmers to compete at district meet
Members of the boys and girls swimming teams will compete in the Division I district meet Saturday, Feb. 17, at Ohio University.
The Wildcats competed in a sectional Feb. 10 at Kenyon College, where the winner of each swimming event and 27 at-large qualifiers in each swimming event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites advanced to district.
Tyler Endecott led the boys team, placing second in the 200-yard individual medley (1 minute, 57.43 seconds) and third in the 100 breaststroke (59.84) to earn district berths in both events.
Other highlights included Dalton Brown finishing third in the 100 backstroke (54.71) and Brady Vann placing fourth in the 500 freestyle (4:50.24).
Davidson finished fifth (111 points) of 11 teams, behind champion Jerome (270).
Riley Ernst led the girls team, placing fifth in the 500 free (5:22.3) and seventh in the 200 free (2:00.19).
The Wildcats tied Darby for seventh (94) of 10 teams, behind champion Coffman (274).
At district, the top two placers in each swimming event automatically advance to the state meet Feb. 23 and 24 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large state berths will be awarded for each swimming event based on district times statewide.
Boys basketball team to face Monarchs
The boys basketball team will conclude OCC-Central play Friday, Feb. 16, at home against Marysville.
Davidson, which is 11-9 overall and 5-4 in the league, defeated the Monarchs 62-55 on Feb. 3.
The Wildcats conclude the regular season Tuesday, Feb. 20, at home against Watterson.
Davidson rolled past Westland 71-40 on Feb. 9 behind 19 points from Jacob Drees, 17 from Patrick Preece and 14 from Gage Keys.
The Wildcats lost to Olentangy 56-51 on Feb. 6. Drees had a game-high 18 points.
Davidson is seeded 20th of 48 teams in the Division I district tournament and will visit 14th-seeded Olentangy Liberty in the first round Feb. 24.
Gymnasts place second in OCC meet
The gymnastics team finished second (129.875) in the OCC-Central meet Feb. 10 at home behind UA (131.325).
Nikia Scurlock was second in the all-around (34.25) behind Coffman's Bethany Hurt (36.225). Scurlock finished first on balance beam (9.025), placed third on floor exercise (8.875) and tied for fourth on both uneven bars (8.2) and vault (8.15).
Mallory Berthel was third in the all-around (33.125), beam (8.55) and vault (8.325), and Emma Conrad was fourth on beam (8.325).
Wrestlers finish third in All-North
The wrestling team finished third (140.5 points) of 16 teams in the All-North Tournament on Feb. 10 at Jerome, behind UA (237) and Darby (169.5).
Micah Dusseau (120 pounds) and Jackson Sowers (132) both won titles, Demetri Monroe (145) and Zak Hughey (195) both placed second, Reid Conrad (160) was third and Jah'von Lynch (heavyweight) finished fourth.
Davidson closes the regular season Thursday, Feb. 15, with an OCC-Central match at home against Coffman. The Wildcats are tied with Marysville for second in the league at 3-1 behind Coffman (4-0).
Davidson then will prepare for a Division I sectional Feb. 24 at Marysville.
@ThisWeekFrankAt a glance
Below are the district qualifiers with sectional time and district seeds for the Davidson boys and girls swimming teams:
BOYS -- Dalton Brown: 50 free (22.48, 17th), 100 back (54.71, seventh); Tyler Endecott: 200 IM (1:57.43, third), 100 breast (59.84, seventh); C.W. Hess: 100 free (49.81, 21st), 100 back (57.72, 27th); Phillip Tate: 100 fly (56.01, 26th); Brady Vann: 500 free (4:50.24, seventh), 100 breast (1:02.79, 20th); 200 medley relay (1:40.47, seventh); 200 free relay (1:37.66, 19th); 400 free relay (3:21.34, eighth)
GIRLS -- Riley Ernst: 200 free (2:00.19, 15th), 500 free (5:22.3, 11th); Brogan Gehring: 200 IM (2:16.93, 14th), 100 breast (1:09.49, 14th); Alex Worthington: 200 IM (2:16.44, 11th), 100 back (1:01.72, 25th); 200 medley relay (1:55.94, 14th); 400 free relay (3:54.19, 17th)