Coach Jack Purtell wants the Reynoldsburg High School girls basketball team to be playing its best in the postseason.

Coach Jack Purtell wants the Reynoldsburg High School girls basketball team to be playing its best in the postseason.

The seventh-seeded Raiders seemed to be doing that in a 67-11 win over Westland on Feb. 19 in the first round of the Division I district tournament, securing a spot in the second round last Wednesday against Hilliard Darby.

The winner of that will play in a district semifinal Monday at Olentangy Orange, likely against third-seeded Dublin Scioto. The Irish were 20-1 before facing Groveport last Wednesday.

All eight players from Reynoldsburg's core rotation have been improving. The frontcourt foursome of junior starters Aryelle Covington (6.4 points, 4.7 rebounds) and T'Shera Lucas (15.1 points, 7.7 rebounds), senior Kristen Mason (4.7 points, 2.6 rebounds) and sophomore Kalyn Daniel (5.6 points, 3.8 rebounds) has turned into a big asset.

Assistant Tony Lucas, who is T'Shera's father, coaches the inside players and said all four keep getting better.

"They've improved a lot," he said. "I tell them to slow down and be patient with their moves, that what I teach them will work, but they have to slow it down and be patient."

T'Shera, a third-year starter, has scored in double figures in 16 of the 20 games she's played. Her season-high was 30 points in a 52-32 win over Lancaster on Feb. 11. Her best game, however, might have been in a 63-56 win over Pickerington Central on Dec. 5 as she had 19 points and 19 rebounds. In a 58-54 win over Central on Jan. 15, she had 14 points and nine rebounds.

Covington also is a third-year starter. She has scored in double figures six times this season and led Reynoldsburg in two games.

Mason is usually the first inside player off the bench and has come on strong in the last 10 games. She scored a season-high 18 points in an 86-27 win over Groveport on Feb. 6. The left-hander has shown the ability to shoot from both sides of the basket in the second half of the season.

"I tell her she will get shots and opportunities on the right side of the basket too, and she can make shots on either side," Lucas said.

After the game against Groveport, Mason said there was another key.

"Earlier this season I was having trouble finishing and now I'm finishing," she said. "I'm also getting some nice passes from my teammates,"

Daniel has scored in double figures six times and led the team in scoring in two games. With Lucas out with a concussion, she had 15 points in a 55-38 win over Groveport on Jan. 6 and 10 in a 33-30 win over Gahanna on Jan. 9.

"Kalyn has done a wonderful job," Lucas said. "At the beginning of the season she wasn't comfortable with her footwork, but now it's down, it's all good."

Lucas knows her teammates improvement helps her.

"It's nice to see all of my teammates get better," she said. "They're all getting better and more confident and growing as players."

The four aren't tall -- all are 5-foot-9 or 5-10 -- but they are effective. Defensively, they are also a big part of the reason the Raiders are holding opponents to 35.9 points per game. Reynoldsburg has held seven opponents to 30 or fewer.

In a potential matchup against Scioto, the starting frontcourt of Kenyell Goodson (7.9 points) and Melanie Marx (6.2 points) along with backups Kacia Grant (2.3 points) and Randi Luker (2.3 points) also would be key.

Scioto's only loss was to second-seeded Delaware 61-60 on Dec. 20.

Brandi Gorniak (17 points, 3.9 assists) and Kesi Hess (15.8 points, 3.8 assists) lead the Irish. Katie Papesh (30 3-pointers, 44 percent from 3-point range) and Lindsey Kell (9.1 rebounds) are two more top players.

"We have a lot of respect for Dublin Scioto and they are one of the top teams in the area the last four or five years," Purtell said. "(Scioto coach Todd Hardesty) and I are good friends and we scrimmage them every year. Should we play them it should be a great game."

In their last meeting, Scioto defeated the Raiders 57-38 in a district final in 2007.

Against Westland, which finished 1-20, Reynoldsburg led 17-0 just five minuets in and 23-2 after one quarter. Lucas scored 18 points, Mason had 11 and Daniel had 10.

At a glance

Below are recent results and coming schedule for the Reynoldsburg girls basketball team:

Feb. 19 -- Defeated Westland 67-11 in first round of Division I district tournament. T'Shera Lucas led with 18 points.

Last Wednesday -- Played Hilliard Darby in second round. The winner will play Groveport or third-seeded Dublin Scioto in a district semifinal Monday at Olentangy Orange.

Of note: The Raiders were 17-4 before last Wednesday.