Luke Mayer is happy to still be playing for the Hilliard Davidson High School boys basketball team.

Luke Mayer is happy to still be playing for the Hilliard Davidson High School boys basketball team.

The 6-foot-7 senior post player and the 20th-seeded Wildcats will play in their first Division I district semifinal since 2008 when they battle 13th-seeded Newark on Thursday, March 3, at Westerville Central.

Davidson already has won twice in the district tournament this season, the first two postseason wins for the program since 2012 when the Wildcats reached a district semifinal before losing to Reynoldsburg 57-47.

"This is all new to me since we haven't won a (district) tournament game since I have been here," said Mayer, whose team is 13-11. "We have great chemistry. We all get along well and understand what it takes to win."

Newark, which is 18-6, is a member of the rugged OCC-Ohio Division. Newark is one of five teams from the league to be in the final 16 in the district tournament, joining top-seeded Gahanna, fourth-seeded Pickerington Central, 17th-seeded Groveport and 23rd-seeded Pickerington North.

Davidson is one of four OCC-Central teams to reach the district semifinals, with the others being sixth-seeded Upper Arlington, seventh-seeded Dublin Coffman and 16th-seeded Thomas Worthington.

"Newark has great tradition and is as well-coached (under Jeff Quackenbush) as anyone in the state," coach Cort Hamilton said. "Their (6-7) big kid, B.J. Duling, is as good as anyone we have seen."

The semifinal winner advances to play second-seeded Westerville South or Thomas in a district final at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at Ohio Dominican University. South was 20-4 and Thomas was 15-8 before playing March 2.

Davidson did not play South this season, but it was swept by the Cardinals, losing 59-46 on Jan. 5 and 47-43 on Feb. 5.

The last time the Wildcats reached a district final was 2006 when they lost to Reynoldsburg 48-41. Their last district title came in 2000. That season, they went on to win a regional title before losing to eventual state champion Cincinnati St. Xavier 58-42 in a state semifinal.

The district champion faces Coffman, St. Charles, Pickerington Central or Walnut Ridge in a regional semifinal Wednesday, March 9, at Ohio Dominican.

Entering district semifinals, Coffman was 21-3, Pickerington Central was 20-4, St. Charles was 22-1 and Walnut Ridge was 18-6.

Davidson was swept by Coffman in league play, losing 54-47 on Jan. 13 and 42-41 on Jan. 15.

The Wildcats reached the district semifinal with a 61-50 win at 12th-seeded Dresden Tri-Valley on Feb. 23 in the second round behind 19 points from Mayer and 12 from Travis Moore.

Jaguars can't connect against Olentangy

Bradley lost to 27th-seeded Olentangy 64-48 on Feb. 26 in the second round of the Division I district tournament to finish 18-6.

The ninth-seeded Jaguars made just seven of 29 3-point attempts (24.1 percent) and only 18 of 55 field-goal attempts (32.7 percent).

Bradley led 28-16 with 4 minutes, 18 seconds left in the first half, but Olentangy had a 44-11 run to build a 60-39 edge with 1:29 left in the fourth.

"We had some quality shots in the third quarter ... The kind of shots we were successful with during the season," coach Brett Norris said. "Then late in the third and early in the fourth, we had some degree of panic. We were up by 12 and then they make their run."

Isaiah Speelman had 21 points and eight rebounds to lead Bradley, and Brandon Glenn scored 12 points. Braden Norris added 11 points.

Panthers fall in district opener

Darby opened the Division I district tournament with a 64-27 loss to fourth-seeded Pickerington Central on Feb. 23 to finish 7-16 overall.

Junior forward Isaiah Wheeler had nine points to lead the 38th-seeded Panthers, who had a first-round bye.

Darby went 4-10 in the OCC-Cardinal to place seventh, behind Westerville South (13-1), Dublin Jerome (12-2), Bradley (11-3), Westerville North (6-8) and Dublin Scioto and Westerville Central (both 5-9) and ahead of Canal Winchester (0-14).

Wheeler averaged a team-high 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds and was named honorable mention all-league.

"At times, we were really good defensively this year with basic half-court man," said coach Chris Maul, who completed his second season. "We struggled to score most of the year, but we hung our hat on man-to-man defense and keeping opponents out of the paint."

Senior guard Antonio McGary (8.4 points, 2.7 assists) and Braeden Hook (7.1 points, team-high 5.4 rebounds) led a five-player senior class.

Junior guard Jose DeLeon averaged 6.6 points and was a team-leading 31-for-86 on 3-point attempts (36.0 percent).

Others expected to return are juniors Kip Burmeister (forward) and Noah Li (guard) and sophomores Ben Gbur (forward), Josh Govine (guard) and Brice Stultz (forward).