The Hilliard Davidson High School girls basketball team is looking to build on its first winning season since 2012-13.
The Wildcats finished 13-12 overall last season, and ninth-year coach Joy Taylor believes her team has the potential to improve on that mark.
“I think we all want better than that,” Taylor said. “Everyone is really excited. We have four seniors, and that’s the most seniors we’ve had in a while. We have all the pieces and hopefully we can stay healthy, execute and play hard every night, and I think we will.”
The Wildcats opened Nov. 27 against Dublin Jerome and begin OCC-Central Division play Tuesday, Dec. 4, at home against Marysville.
Last season, Davidson went 6-4 in the league to finish third behind Dublin Coffman (10-0) and Upper Arlington (8-2).
“I think we can compete with (Coffman and UA) and the girls thinks that, too,” Taylor said. “Our kids know they can play with people. …We always want to compete for our league, and our league is tough.”
Among the returnees for Davidson is 5-foot-10 senior guard Emily Simon, who averaged a team-high 12.9 points and a team-best 7.0 rebounds last season and was named first-team all-OCC-Central and third-team all-district in Division I.
Simon signed Nov. 14 to play for the University of Charleston.
“She’s on schedule to have her name all over the record book here and I’m thrilled that she’s going to be a scholarship player at the next level,” Taylor said of Simon. “She’s had a phenomenal career. She’s a good leader and she has great classmates. The senior class has turned the tide of our program. We have a really positive reputation around school.”
The Wildcats have two other key returnees in 5-7 sophomore guard Brianna O’Connor, who averaged 7.9 points and was second-team all-league last season, and 5-1 junior guard Sydney Petersen, who was honorable mention all-league.
“Our first goal is definitely winning our (league),” Simon said. “We were (13-12) last year, so that was a good pat on our back for us to end the season. Winning the (league) and having a winning season are what I want to get this year.”
Also back are seniors Jadah Dixon (5-5, guard), Audrey Kaufman (5-10, forward) and Sydney Ryan (5-9, guard) and sophomore Grace Royer (5-10, forward) as well as junior Ellie Brorein (5-10, forward), who missed all of last season with a back injury.
“We’re really close this season, which really helps,” Kaufman said. “We only lost one (key) senior (from last season in 2018 graduate Allie Klein), so having the majority of our starters returning as well as other varsity players is really going to be a big help this year.”
Klein averaged 9.6 points last season and was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.
Rounding out the team are juniors Lydia Brooker (5-9, forward) and Sally Sell (5-6, guard) and sophomores Ashley Barrington (5-9, forward), Kira Kaufman (5-10, forward) and Emma Potter (5-11, forward).
“We have 33 girls in our program and when these seniors were sophomores, we had 16 girls in our program,” Taylor said. “We have a lot of bodies and we have a lot of girls who like basketball and have fun with it. It’s a good group of girls to be around and people want to be around our group, and that means a lot.”
Samantha Bradway, a 2011 Davidson graduate who played for Taylor, is the new junior varsity coach.
Athletes announce college decisions
Eleven student-athletes, including Simon, announced their college decisions Nov. 14.
Also announcing their commitments were Dalton Brown (men’s swimming, Lynn), Sydney Brown (women’s soccer, Indiana Wesleyan), Austin
Conrad (baseball, Mount Vernon Nazarene), Jacob Drees (men’s basketball, Cedarville), Emilee Fecht (women’s volleyball, Ohio Dominican), Conner Johanssen (men’s cross country, Dayton), Max LeClair (men’s cross country and track, Kentucky), Sophie Lewis (women’s cross country and track, Colorado State), Caleb Stimmel (men’s golf, Cedarville) and Ellie Tighe (women’s cross country and track, Dayton).
Nov. 27 – vs. Dublin Jerome
Nov. 29 – at Watterson
Dec. 1 – at Dublin Scioto
*Dec. 4 – vs. Marysville
*Dec. 10 – at Dublin Coffman
*Dec. 14 – at Upper Arlington
Dec. 15 – at Bradley
Dec. 18 – vs. Lancaster
*Dec. 21 – at Central Crossing
Dec. 28 – Canton Central Catholic in Jeff Sheets Holiday Classic at Teays Valley
Dec. 29 – North Canton Hoover in Jeff Sheets Holiday Classic
*Jan. 4 – vs. Westland
Jan. 5 – vs. Darby
Jan. 8 – at Olentangy Orange
*Jan. 11 – at Marysville
Jan. 15 – vs. Pickerington North
*Jan. 17 – vs. Dublin Coffman
Jan. 22 – at Olentangy Liberty
*Jan. 25 – vs. Upper Arlington
*Feb. 1 – vs. Central Crossing
Feb. 5 – vs. Olentangy
*Feb. 8 – at Westland
Below are the coming schedules for the Davidson boys basketball, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
Dec. 1 – Chillicothe Zane Trace Tip-Off Classic
SWIMMING & DIVING
Nov. 30 – Delaware at Ohio Wesleyan
Dec. 1 – At Thomas Worthington with Dublin Coffman, Dublin Jerome, Dublin Scioto and Worthington Kilbourne
Dec. 1 – Olentangy Invitational