The Hilliard Davidson High School girls basketball team cruised to a 50-33 victory over Groveport in its Division I district tournament opener Feb. 19 at Olentangy.

The Hilliard Davidson High School girls basketball team cruised to a 50-33 victory over Groveport in its Division I district tournament opener Feb. 19 at Olentangy.

The 12th-seeded Wildcats raced out to an 11-0 lead and built a 30-5 halftime advantage en route to their first postseason victory since 2008.

"Our defensive pressure in the first half made the difference," coach Jill Taylor said. "We tried full-court pressure and threw some traps at them, and we forced them to throw the ball away, which led to some scoring opportunities for us, too."

But even though the Wildcats have won nine of their past 10 games, Taylor said it will take a tremendous amount of effort and focus to continue winning in the tournament.

Davidson plays Dublin Jerome in the second round at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at Olentangy. The winner faces top-seeded Reynoldsburg or Columbus West in a district semifinal at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, at Olentangy Liberty. The district final will be played at 7 p.m. March 5 at Liberty.

Jerome beat New Albany 40-33 on Feb. 19 to improve to 12-8, as 5-foot-8 senior guard Brooke Carrel and 5-10 sophomore guard Kaitlin Miller both scored 11 points.

"The seeding and records don't matter at this point," Taylor said. "We've seen Dublin Jerome this year and they're a very good team. A lot of people have been contributing for us, and we'll need for that to continue to keep winning."

Madie Long leads Davidson in scoring average at 9.8 points per game, followed by Lauren Bates (9.3), Maddison Blackwell (6.6), Katie Dymek (6.5), Samantha Bradway (5.4), Ashley Hurt (3.8) and Ashley Weethee (3.4).

In order to stand a chance against Jerome and a juggernaut such as Reynoldsburg, Taylor said her squad must continue to play stout man-to-man defense.

Reynoldsburg routed Chillicothe 94-5 on Feb. 19 to improve to 20-1, as 5-6 junior guard Aliyah Zantt scored 18 points, 5-6 junior guard Adesuwa Aideyman scored 13 and 5-9 sophomore forward Shiloh Murphy scored 10.

"I'm confident in our defense," Taylor said. "Sometimes shots don't fall, but defense is just a matter of work. I'm happy with our defensive effort in the first half (against Groveport), but I'm not happy with the way we let down in the second half.

"We can't afford to do that in the tournament."

The Wildcats had a relatively easy time defending against Groveport, which dressed only seven players after starting point guard Destiny Hicks quit the team Feb. 11 and backup point guard Alexis Smoot suffered a season-ending foot injury midway through the season. Hicks was averaging nine points and 4.5 assists per game.

One of Groveport's key post players, Kourtni Perry, also played sparingly in her first game back from a foot injury that caused her to miss most of the season.

Dymek had 13 points and Blackwell scored 11 to lead Davidson. Noelani Woodson scored 10 points to pace Groveport, which finished 5-16.

"We thought this was a game we could win, but we didn't have a penetrating point guard to handle their pressure or set up our shooters in this game," Groveport coach Brad Woodson said. "My daughter made 50 3-pointers before this game, but she had only two in it because we had trouble setting her up."


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


*Feb. 18 - Lost to Darby 50-47. Chris Logsdon scored 18 points and Davonte Peterson scored 14.

Feb. 19 - Lost to Zanesville 60-51 in regular-season finale. Peterson scored 25 points and Brandon Gleim scored 13.

Feb. 22 - Played 10th-seeded Olentangy Orange in first round of Division I district tournament. The winner plays 12th-seeded Mount Vernon or Westerville Central in second round, 8 p.m. Feb. 25 at Hilliard Bradley. Winner plays in district semifinal, 2:30 p.m. March 5 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Of note: The Wildcats were 11-9 overall before Feb. 22 and finished 7-7 (fourth) in the OCC-Central, behind co-champions Dublin Coffman and Upper Arlington (13-1) and Thomas Worthington (9-5), and ahead of Hilliard Darby (5-9), Worthington Kilbourne (5-9), Central Crossing (2-12) and Westland (2-12).


Feb. 19 - Defeated Groveport 50-33 in first round of Division I district tournament

Feb. 25 - Dublin Jerome in second round of district tournament, 8 p.m. Feb. 25 at Olentangy. Winner plays top-seeded Reynoldsburg or Columbus West in district semifinal, 6 p.m. March 2 at Olentangy Liberty. Winner plays in district final, 7 p.m. March 5 at Liberty.

Of note: The Wildcats are 15-6 overall.

*OCC-Central game