Matt Rhodes has adjusted quite well to his new role for the Westerville North High School boys basketball team.

Matt Rhodes has adjusted quite well to his new role for the Westerville North High School boys basketball team.

In his two previous varsity seasons, the 6-foot-5 junior forward had been a complementary player to 2010 graduates Kenny DeBoer, Ralph Hill and Bradley Nettles. But this season, Rhodes has taken on a leadership role, helping the Warriors finish the regular season at 15-5 overall.

"Last year, I was definitely more of a role player and now I have to score more in order for us to win," Rhodes said. "I definitely want the ball in my hands at the end of the game, just like Kenny, Ralph and Brad did last season."

Through 20 games, Rhodes was averaging 17.0 points and had made 54 3-pointers. Last year, he averaged six points.

"Matt has had an outstanding year," coach Kevin Thuman said. "After last year, we told him we wanted him to also be able to put the ball on the floor and drive off the dribble and he has been able to do that for us. He has stepped up to be all we have asked of him."

In a 71-54 win over Olentangy in the regular season and OCC-Cardinal Division finale on Feb. 18, Rhodes scored 15 points with three 3-pointers and Jack Gibbs led with 16 points. Taivion Thomas had 12 points, Garrett Lieb scored 10, Adrian Cook had eight and Drake Jackson added seven.

"When I hit 3s, it opens things up on the inside and gives us more ways to score," Rhodes said.

Westerville South won the OCC-Cardinal title at 13-1, with North, Olentangy Liberty and Westerville Central tied for second at 10-4. Dublin Jerome and Dublin Scioto tied for fifth at 4-10, followed by Olentangy at 3-11 and Marysville at 2-12.

The Warriors opened Division I district play Feb. 23 against Marysville. The winner plays Beechcroft or Brookhaven in the second round at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at Worthington Christian Middle School.

Brookhaven was 10-10 before Feb. 23. North beat the Bearcats 71-61 on Jan. 15 as Gibbs scored 21 points, Thomas had 17 and Rhodes added 14.

Beechcroft was 12-8 overall before Feb. 23 and did not play North this season.

The second-round winner plays Columbus West, fourth-seeded Gahanna or Westland at 8:45 p.m. March 6 in a district semifinal in the Fairgrounds Coliseum.

•The girls team was 15-6 overall before playing 11th-seeded Dublin Coffman in the second round of the Division I district tournament on Feb. 23.

The winner plays second-seeded Northland or Marysville at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28, at Liberty.

The Vikings, who had a first-round bye, were 18-1 before playing Feb. 23. They did not play North after a Feb. 2 non-league game was canceled because of bad weather.

North swept Marysville in league play 45-37 on Jan. 7 and 43-32 on Feb. 11. The Monarchs were 7-14 before Feb. 23.

The semifinal winner advances to play seventh-seeded Gahanna, eighth-seeded Newark, Thomas Worthington or Westerville Central in a district final at 1 p.m. March 5 at Liberty.

In the first round of district play on Feb. 16, the Warriors defeated Delaware 67-46 as Monique Jones scored 15 points with three assists and three steals, Bri Clegg had 15 points, six rebounds and three blocks, and Caitlyn Kusan had 13 points with 13 rebounds, four blocks four steals and two assists.

Dawn Pickens had eight points with three assists and Breyonia Hearns added three steals and three assists.

North's win was part of a perfect first round of district play for the OCC-Cardinal. Aside from the Warriors' victory, Jerome beat New Albany 40-33, Scioto beat Dresden Tri-Valley 57-45, Liberty defeated Worthington Kilbourne 39-26, Marysville topped Marion-Franklin 49-25, Olentangy throttled Columbus South 73-10, Central defeated Briggs 56-39 and South beat Teays Valley 52-39.