The Hilliard Darby High School girls basketball team has a reputation for going at opponents with a hard-nosed, man-to-man defense.

The Hilliard Darby High School girls basketball team has a reputation for going at opponents with a hard-nosed, man-to-man defense.

It couldn't be more appropriate for a team that continues to perfect a new motion offense under first-year coach Chris Maul. Before last Tuesday's OCC-Central Division contest at Dublin Coffman, Darby was allowing an average 36.5 points per game.

"We don't press a whole lot and we don't play much of an up-tempo game so I think our scores are going to be lower," Maul said. "What we've really been doing well defensively is limiting teams to one shot."

Opponents had grabbed just 21 offensive rebounds before last Friday's 55-41 road victory at Upper Arlington, which began a difficult stretch of three games. Darby has yet to implement a zone defense, but has been successful with a strategy that forces teams to beat it on the perimeter.

The Panthers don't have a lot of size to allow opponents in the paint.

"It's a completely new look from last year and it does work," point guard Kalee Seagle said. "We're in the gaps and we don't people on the inside. We have to be really intense and I think we've been able to hold some scorers to less than their average."

Visiting Dublin Scioto, which remained unbeaten with last Friday's 57-37 win over Westerville North, will test Darby's perimeter defense Tuesday with two of the best 3-point shooters in the area in seniors Kesi Hess and Brandi Gorniak. The Irish were averaging nearly 64 points per game before last Saturday's meeting with Delaware, which stayed unbeaten by defeating Scioto 61-60 in overtime.

Opponents have tried to defend Scioto with a number of defenses without success.

"We'll definitely look to close out tight," Maul said. "We need to pressure the ball and we'll need to have great help. I think with some of those teams that have a lot of talent you've got to pick your poison. You've got to figure out what's the best way to go."

Scioto, Coffman and UA had a combined record of 11-1 before last Friday.

"Scioto's shooters can make everything they and we can't allow them to take them all day," Seagle said. "These three games are the toughest of our season and they're really going to show us what we need to do to get better."

Against UA, senior guard Shanee Jackson scored a career-high 26 points. She had 11 in the fourth quarter to help fend off the Golden Bears, who cut the lead to 40-37 with a little more than four minutes to play.

Jackson sparked a 9-1 run that gave the Panthers the lead for good.

"We wanted to send a statement to the rest of the OCC that just because we're small doesn't mean we don't have heart," said Jackson, a Ball State recruit. "I'm not the whole team. Everyone on this team has contributed."

Forward Simone Luzander scored all of her eight points in the fourth quarter. Seagle added nine and Erin Warning finished with eight.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Darby boys and girls basketball teams:


*Last Friday -- Lost to Upper Arlington 51-44

*Last Tuesday -- Played Dublin Coffman

Saturday -- Home vs. Lancaster

Of note: The Panthers were 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the OCC-Central before last Tuesday.


*Last Friday -- Def. UA 55-41. Shanee Jackson scored a career-high 26 points.

*Last Tuesday -- Played Coffman

Tuesday -- Home vs. Dublin Scioto

Of note: The Panthers were 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Central before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Central game