The Hilliard Davidson High School boys basketball team entered the season looking to build on last season's success.

The Hilliard Davidson High School boys basketball team entered the season looking to build on last season's success.

The Wildcats, who opened Dec. 2 with a 63-38 win at Urbana, finished 14-12 overall a year ago but reached a Division I district final before losing to eventual state champion Westerville South 58-30.

Davidson, which defeated Licking Heights 69-29 on Dec. 5, opens OCC-Central Division play Friday, Dec. 9, at Dublin Coffman.

"We try to focus on the process of getting better daily, controlling what we can control and having a mindset for growth and hanging our hats," third-year coach Cort Hamilton said. "If we have that mindset, then we can then feel good about what is going on. We hope to compete each night and, with our schedule as strong as it is, we feel we'll be in position to be a solid team when the tournament comes along."

The Wildcats, who started 2-5 last season but won 12 of their final 19 games, have returned their third- and fourth-leading scorers from a year ago in senior guards Nick Livingston (6-foot-3) and Travis Moore (6-1).

Last season, Livingston averaged 8.7 points and 3.1 assists and was named special mention all-league and Moore averaged 7.1 points.

Against Urbana, Livingston had 19 points and Moore scored 15.

Livingston and Moore each scored 16 points against Licking Heights.

"I'm excited for the season," Livingston said. "We're not as tall as last year. We lost two athletic guys in (2016 graduates) Luke Mayer and Max Huber, but we'll be a faster-paced, up-tempo team, and all of our big guys can shoot, so that's a good thing."

Other returnees include seniors Jeremy Kenny (6-1, forward) and Ryan Royer (5-11, guard), both of whom were key players in the rotation last season, Hamilton said.

Also back are senior Jesse Wymard (6-1, guard), junior M.J. Rasoul (6-0, forward) and sophomores Jacob Drees (6-5, forward), Patrick Preece (6-3, forward) and Ethan Royer (6-1, guard).

Wymard missed most of last season after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery.

Rounding out the team are seniors Vincent Lyles (5-11, guard) and Gage Keys (6-3, forward) and sophomores Carson Felicetty (6-2, guard), Christian Gillian (6-6, forward) and DeSean Stokes (6-2, guard).

"I was happy with our fall and our preseason," Hamilton said. "Our returning players have done a nice job of leading and bringing the effort and energy each day."

Last season, the Wildcats went 5-9 in the OCC-Central to tie Olentangy Liberty for fifth, behind champion Upper Arlington (13-1) and runner-up Coffman (12-2). Liberty has moved to the OCC-Buckeye and Thomas Worthington is now in the OCC-Cardinal.

Hamilton expects UA and Coffman to be the top contenders in the league again this season, but he hopes his team also will be in the mix.

"Central Ohio basketball is as good as it's been," Hamilton said. "Every night you're playing talented players with good coaches, so it's going to be a battle."

DiSabato expected to lead wrestlers

The wrestling team again is expected to be led by junior Gio DiSabato, a two-time Division I state qualifier.

The Wildcats opened the season by finishing eighth (74 points) in the 11-team Olentangy Invitational on Dec. 3, behind champion Lancaster (178.5).

DiSabato (120 pounds) and junior Demetrius Monroe (132) won titles.

Last season, DiSabato went 4-2 at state to finish fourth at 106 to finish the season 55-3. As a freshman, he went 3-3 at state to place sixth at 106.

"I worked especially hard this summer to achieve my ultimate goal to be a state champ," said DiSabato, who entered the season with 102 career wins. "This is our year. We're pushing toward winning the OCC this year. We're an underrated team. I think we can win (the league title) or get a close second or third. This the best team that we've had since I've been here and we have a chance to go further in the sectional and district tournaments."

Other returning district qualifiers are senior Sameh Ayoub (145, 25-12 last season), Monroe (132, 44-11) and junior Micah Dusseau (113, 26-12). Monroe placed fifth at district, finishing one spot shy of a state berth.

Other returnees include seniors Brenden Ball (195/220, 16-18), Landon Price (126, 10-10) and Connor Morrison (160, 18-16).

Other key wrestlers include senior Allen Pippin (170), juniors Reid Conrad (152), Nathan Hennessy (138), Chace Jones (138), Jah'von Lynch (heavyweight), Connor Lucy (126) and Brendon Yoder (182), sophomore Luke DeWeese (152) and freshman Teraun Dunseth (106).

"The guys we have are working hard," 17th-year coach Dominic DiSabato said. "We have questions. We like what we have, but are guys going to step up? Everybody has their horses, everybody has their three, four studs that they can count on that they know are going to get points, but what about the other guys?"

Last season, Davidson went 3-4 in the OCC-Central to finish fifth, behind champion Liberty (7-0). Liberty has moved to the OCC-Buckeye.

The Wildcats, seeded second in Region 6-B of the team state tournament, lost to third-seeded Bradley 43-30 in a regional quarterfinal after defeating seventh-seeded Piqua 63-15 in the second round.

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Schedules

BOYS BASKETBALL

Dec. 2 -- at Urbana

Dec. 5 -- vs. Licking Heights

*Dec. 9 -- at Dublin Coffman

*Dec. 16 -- vs. Upper Arlington

Dec. 20 -- at Lancaster

Dec. 29 -- at Hilliard Bradley

Jan. 3 -- vs. Olentangy Orange

*Jan. 6 -- vs. Central Crossing

Jan. 10 -- vs. Olentangy Liberty

*Jan. 13 -- at Westland

Jan. 14 -- vs. Delaware

Jan. 17 -- vs. Grove City

*Jan. 20 -- vs. Marysville

Jan. 21 -- at Hilliard Darby

Jan. 24 -- at Olentangy

*Jan. 27 -- vs. Dublin Coffman

Jan. 28 -- vs. Thomas Worthington

*Feb. 3 -- at Upper Arlington

*Feb. 7 -- at Central Crossing

*Feb. 10 -- vs. Westland

Feb. 14 -- at Watterson

*Feb. 17 -- at Marysville

WRESTLING

Dec. 3 -- Olentangy Invitational

Dec. 10 -- Firebird Classic at Kettering Fairmont

Dec. 17 -- Delaware Duals

Dec. 29-30 -- Brecksville Holiday Tournament at Brecksville-Broadview Heights

*Jan. 12 -- vs. Upper Arlington

*Jan. 19 -- at Westland

*Jan. 26 -- at Central Crossing

Feb. 4 -- Delaware Invitational

*Feb. 9 -- vs. Marysville

Feb. 11 -- All-North Tournament at Dublin Jerome

*Feb. 16 -- at Dublin Coffman

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Davidson girls basketball, gymnastics and swimming & diving teams:

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Dec. 8 -- Home vs. Dublin Coffman

Dec. 10 -- At Bradley

Dec. 13 -- At Pickerington North

GYMNASTICS

Dec. 10 -- At Upper Arlington with Bradley and Darby

SWIMMING & DIVING

Dec. 10 -- Westerville Central at Westerville Community Center

*League contest