Despite not winning its league and having no seniors a year ago, the Reynoldsburg High School girls basketball team led eventual state-champion Wadsworth after three quarters before eventually falling to the Grizzlies in a Division I state semifinal.

Despite not winning its league and having no seniors a year ago, the Reynoldsburg High School girls basketball team led eventual state-champion Wadsworth after three quarters before eventually falling to the Grizzlies in a Division I state semifinal.

Putting together an equally strong run -- and doing it all season -- is the Raiders' primary goal this winter.

All of Reynoldsburg's top seven scorers return from a team that went 23-6.

"We (want) to prove it wasn't a fluke winning the regional championship," 15th-year coach Jack Purtell said.

The Raiders opened Nov. 25 by beating Westerville South 59-36 and defeated Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 77-59 on Nov. 27 in home games of the Gary West Tipoff Classic.

They begin OCC-Ohio Division action Tuesday, Dec. 6, at home against Lancaster a year after finishing second (12-2) behind Pickerington Central (14-0).

Reynoldsburg, which won its final four of the regular season and then won six tournament games before falling to Wadsworth, returns four players who received league honors in senior Brooklyn Pannell (5-foot-10, wing player) and juniors Adrian Crockwell (5-9, guard), Mackenzie Davis (5-8, point guard) and Jalynda Salley (6-3, post player).

Crockwell, who battled an ankle injury during the preseason, averaged 11.5 points and 3.6 assists last year and made first-team all-league, second-team all-district and the ThisWeek Super 12.

Salley averaged 11.8 points and 9.5 rebounds and was second-team all-league, honorable mention all-district and Super 12 honorable mention.

Pannell, who will play for the University of Charleston, averaged 15 points over the final eight games to finish at 11.3 per game. She also shot 47 percent from the floor and was special mention all-league and honorable mention all-district.

Davis averaged 3.8 points and was honorable mention all-league.

Also back are senior Hannah Gaskins (5-8, forward) and sophomores Uju Ezeudu (6-0, forward) and Breanna Johnson (5-7, guard). Gaskins averaged 7.6 points, Ezeudu averaged 5.7 and Johnson was a key backup.

Freshmen Kennadi Harris (5-6, guard), Malaysia Miller (5-7, guard) and Kyria Walker (5-6, guard) all are expected to be key players.

Purtell is high on Walker, who battled a groin injury during the preseason.

Junior Shaunna Hamilton (5-10, forward) should provide depth in the frontcourt.

"We have everybody back so we're expecting a lot," Davis said. "To do what we're hoping to do we have to work hard and practice hard. We all play well together."

The only regular varsity player from last season who is not back with the program is junior guard Allayah Hughes, who transferred to Eastmoor Academy.

Wadsworth beat Reynoldsburg 58-48 in a state semifinal and went on to beat Mason 60-51 for the state title. The Raiders play both of those teams this season.

"You have to be a little lucky to go as far as we did last year," Purtell said. "You can't have a bad shooting night. We peaked at the right time last year. We're a little deeper than we were last year. They're like sponges in that they're open to criticism as well as praise."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

Schedules

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Nov. 25 -- Westerville South in Gary West Tipoff Classic at home

Nov. 27 -- Akron St. Vincent-St Mary in Gary West Tipoff Classic at home

Dec. 3 -- at Mansfield Senior

*Dec. 6 -- vs. Lancaster

*Dec. 9 -- at Gahanna

*Dec. 16 -- vs. Grove City

Dec. 20 -- at Newark

Dec. 29 -- Rocky River Magnificat in Wadsworth Invitational

Dec. 30 -- Wadsworth in Wadsworth Invitational

Jan. 3 -- at New Albany

*Jan. 6 -- at Pickerington Central

*Jan. 12 -- vs. Pickerington North

Jan. 14 -- Mason in Classic in the County at Berlin Hiland

Jan. 16 -- Shaker Heights in Classic in the Country at Hiland

*Jan. 20 -- at Lancaster

Jan. 24 -- at Central Crossing

*Jan. 27 -- vs. Gahanna

Jan. 28 -- vs. Washington Court House Miami Trace

*Feb. 3 -- at Grove City

*Feb. 7 -- vs. Pickerington Central

*Feb. 10 -- at Pickerington North

Feb. 14 -- at Zanesville

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Reynoldsburg boys basketball, bowling and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

Dec. 2 -- Home vs. St. Charles in opener

Dec. 5 -- Home vs. Walnut Ridge

BOWLING

*Dec. 5 -- Lancaster at Tiki Lanes

WRESTLING

Dec. 3 -- Lee Spitzer Golden Bear Invitational at Upper Arlington

*League contest