The Worthington Kilbourne High School boys basketball team followed its defensive game plan against Walnut Ridge in the second round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 29 at Reynoldsburg.

The Worthington Kilbourne High School boys basketball team followed its defensive game plan against Walnut Ridge in the second round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 29 at Reynoldsburg.

Doing so on the offensive end was another matter, and the Wolves' season ended with a 43-21 loss to the second-seeded Scots.

"There was a lot of fight in our kids, and we did what we needed to do defensively," Souder said. "I'm proud of our effort, but we just didn't make our shots and that hurt us because Walnut Ridge is big and athletic and they're 20-1 for a reason."

Senior wing player Connor Dahn had 10 points to lead the Wolves, who trailed 18-11 at halftime before the Scots blew the game open with a 15-4 run in the third quarter.

"They have so many guys who are 10 times more athletic than we are, and their size and speed made a big difference," Dahn said.

The Wolves finished 12-10 overall, marking their second-highest win total in program history behind the 2005-06 season when they finished 13-9.

Among the highlights was the first sweep of Hilliard Davidson during Souder's 12 seasons. Kilbourne defeated the Wildcats 52-36 on Dec. 20 at home and 51-50 on Feb. 3 at Davidson.

The Wolves also defeated Dublin Coffman 55-44 on Jan. 6 on the road, marking the first time in program history they have won at Coffman.

In addition, Kilbourne matched its longest winning streak (four) in program history by beating Westland 55-50 on Jan. 27, Buckeye Valley 55-50 on Jan. 31, Davidson on Feb. 3 and Central Crossing 69-44 on Feb. 7.

The Wolves went 8-6 in the OCC-Central Division to tie Westland for fourth, behind Upper Arlington (12-2), Coffman (9-5) and Thomas Worthington (9-5), and ahead of Davidson (7-7), Hilliard Darby (3-11) and Central Crossing (0-14).

The Wolves then defeated Darby 59-43 in their district tournament opener Feb. 24 at Reynoldsburg to earn their first postseason victory since 2006.

"This was a heck of a ride for our seniors, going from finishing 3-18 our freshman year to 12-10 this year," senior point guard Brian Hanks said. "Winning at Dublin Coffman and sweeping Davidson for the first time were highlights. And our four-game winning streak was fun, because that hasn't happened many times here at Kilbourne."

Hanks, a four-year starter who averaged nine points, was named first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.

Dahn, who averaged 12.3 points, was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district. Senior wing player Ryan Pritchett averaged 4.3 points and senior wing player Adam Hren averaged three points.

Four letterwinners are expected to return in junior center Tyler Stern-Tucker, junior wing players Ryan Aldolph and Jared Kortsen and sophomore guard Seth Hill.

Stern-Tucker, who averaged 10.7 points, was first-team all-league and honorable-mention all-district, and Hill averaged 4.9 points and was honorable mention all-league.

"This is one of the best teams that has come through this program and this group of seniors meant so much to the program over four years," Souder said. "This is a hard group to let go of because they're great kids. But we've got some good kids coming back and our freshman team went 14-4 this season, so we're going to get back after it again next season."

•Thomas finished 11-10 overall after losing to Davidson 54-47 in the first round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 25 at Marysville.

Among the highlights was a 39-37 win over UA on Dec. 6 at home, as senior forward Julian Henderson scored 13 points and made the winning 3-pointer from the right corner with 0.3 of a second remaining.

Thomas also went on the road and beat Coffman 63-48 on Jan. 27, as senior center Jordan Cowgill scored 21 points, Henderson scored 17 and junior point guard Will Hill scored 15.

In addition, the Cardinals swept Kilbourne, winning 43-38 on Jan. 13 on the road and 53-47 on Feb. 17 at home, to take a 9-2 lead in the all-time series.

"Beating Upper Arlington at the buzzer and beating Dublin Coffman decisively were good wins," coach Bob Miller said. "The two Kilbourne games were big games for our players, because they were both close and exciting wins in a great environment."

But overall Thomas struggled in close games, as it went 4-10 in games decided by seven points or fewer.

"We didn't get blown out by anybody, but we didn't finish our opponents in several of our closer games," Miller said.

The Cardinals will lose two senior starters in Cowgill and Henderson as well as senior forward Everett Bruce.

Cowgill, who averaged 15.4 points and 10.5 rebounds, was first-team all-league and second-team all-district. Henderson averaged 11.7 points and was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.

"Our seniors had a good year and definitely will be missed," Miller said. "Jordan had a fantastic year and Julian made some big baskets for us. Everett was one of our best offensive rebounders, a very good defender and, by far, our best shot blocker."

Three starters are expected to return in Hill, junior guard Lance Leslie and junior small forward Jay Smallwood.

Hill, who averaged 12.7 points, was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district. Leslie averaged 4.1 points and Smallwood, according to Miller, was the team's top defender.

Junior guard Jamie Burpee averaged 2.2 points.

"We've got some talented players coming back, but we'll need to work hard this summer to become the type of team we want to be in the future," Miller said.