The Dublin Jerome High School girls basketball team used stifling defense to earn a 40-33 win over New Albany in the opening round of the Division I district tournament on Feb. 19 at Olentangy.

The Dublin Jerome High School girls basketball team used stifling defense to earn a 40-33 win over New Albany in the opening round of the Division I district tournament on Feb. 19 at Olentangy.

But coach Matt Martin will need his Celtics to be even more aggressive when they play 12th-seeded Hilliard Davidson in a second-round game at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at Olentangy.

"(Davidson is) good, but we have a chance to win if we play defense," said Martin, whose team is 12-8 overall. "We can (win) just about any game if we play defense."

Davidson improved to 15-6 by defeating Groveport 50-33 in the opening round Feb. 19 at Olentangy for its ninth win in 10 games. Junior Katie Dymek, a 5-foot-10 guard/forward, led the Wildcats with 13 points and sophomore guard/forward Maddison Blackwell (6-1) had 11 points. Junior guard Madie Long (5-7) had eight points and sophomore guard Lauren Bates (5-10) added six points.

Long averaged a team-high 9.9 points through 20 games, followed by Bates (9.5), Blackwell (6.4), Dymek (6.2) and 5-9 senior guard/forward Sam Bradway (5.7).

"Davidson will be one of the more athletic teams we have seen all season," said Martin, whose team has not played the Wildcats the past two seasons. "They have six, seven, eight girls they run in there and they are all athletic."

The winner plays top-seeded Reynoldsburg or Columbus West in a district semifinal at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, at Olentangy Liberty. The Celtics have not played either team this season.

Reynoldsburg, which was ranked fifth in the final state poll, improved to 20-1 by beating Chillicothe 94-5 on Feb. 19. West finished the regular season at 0-19.

The district final will be at 7 p.m. March 5 at Liberty against sixth-seeded Brookhaven, Pickerington Central, fourth-seeded Watterson or Westerville South.

The Celtics led 14-7 after one quarter against New Albany, but only 17-15 at halftime. Kaitlyn Miller scored eight of her 11 points in the fourth quarter to lead Jerome.

"Kaitlyn came on in the fourth quarter with eight points," Martin said. "That's what you expect a leader to do."

Brooke Carrel also scored 11 points with three 3-pointers. Sarah Auker and Lindsay Rieland had six points apiece and Katherine McCoy added five points.

"When I can hit some 3s, it opens things up for us," Carrel said. "It opens up the middle because Kaitlyn Miller and Katherine McCoy are so good at driving the lane."

Speaking of good, the OCC-Cardinal was perfect in the first round of district play. Aside from Jerome's victory, Dublin Scioto beat Dresden Tri-Valley 57-45, Liberty defeated Worthington Kilbourne 39-26, Marysville topped Marion-Franklin 49-25, Olentangy routed Columbus South 73-10, Westerville Central defeated Briggs 56-39, Westerville North downed Delaware 67-48 and Westerville South beat Teays Valley 52-39.

•The boys team played Delaware on Feb. 23 in the opening round of the Division I district tournament. The winner plays Olentangy Liberty or Hilliard Darby in the second round at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at Jonathan Alder.

Liberty, which was 14-6 in the regular season, beat Jerome 55-44 on Dec. 10 and 56-55 on Jan. 25.

Darby, 7-13 overall, lost to the Celtics 49-37 on Dec. 30.

The second-round winner plays second-seeded Northland, Groveport or Franklin Heights in a district semifinal at 4:15 p.m. March 5 in the Fairgrounds Coliseum.

The Celtics finished the regular season at 7-13 overall after falling to Westerville Central 57-55 in overtime on Feb. 18. Nick Neale scored 12 points, Cam Wilson scored 10 points, Garrett Couche had nine points on three 3-pointers and Ben Nesdore had nine points.

Jerome tied Scioto for fifth in the OCC-Cardinal at 4-10. Westerville South won the title at 13-1, with Liberty, Westerville Central and Westerville North tied for second at 10-4. Olentangy was seventh at 3-11 and Marysville was eighth at 2-12.

The Celtics beat Watterson 46-35 on Feb. 15. Couche scored 11 points with three 3-pointers and both Michael Martin and Donovan Wilson had eight points apiece.