The Reynoldsburg High School girls basketball team lost only five games last season, but changes still were made during the offseason.

One of the losses that was most troubling to the Raiders took place in a Division I regional semifinal when they fell 72-40 to Newark.

After that game, coach Jack Purtell talked about the importance of putting in a good summer so a defeat of that magnitude doesn't happen if they get back to that level this winter.

"We've been working on some new stuff," said Purtell, who is in his 16th season. "We've been working on some open-post stuff offensively and working on a matchup zone. (We tried) to work on that in the preseason."

The Raiders followed a district runner-up finish in 2015 by reaching a state semifinal a year later.

Four players who were key factors in Reynoldsburg's success the last two seasons have returned.

Mackenzie Davis, 5-foot-6 senior, returns at point guard after averaging four points and making honorable mention all-OCC-Ohio Division, and 6-3 senior post player Jalynda Salley is back after averaging 9.3 points and making honorable mention all-district.

Junior Uju Ezeudu, a 6-0 forward who averaged 10.5 points and was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district, could take on an even bigger role offensively.

Sophomore Bre Johnson, a 5-7 guard, is the other key returnee after Reynoldsburg went 23-6 in 2015-16 and 22-5 a season ago.

The Raiders opened Nov. 24 by beating Teays Valley 52-35 and then beat Cleveland East Tech 74-21 on Nov. 25. Both games were in the Gary West Tipoff Classic at home.

"I think we have a lot of hard workers and we want to win," Davis said. "We have a lot of different talents and people that are really good at their roles. We face a lot of hard teams, so that gets us ready."

The Raiders went 8-2 in the OCC-Ohio last season to place second behind Pickerington Central (10-0) and ahead of Gahanna (6-4), and those three teams again figure to battle for the title.

In addition, the Raiders have a rematch against Newark, which went on to reach a state semifinal, on Dec. 12 at home and play defending state champion Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame on Jan. 14.

Sophomore Kyria Walker (5-6, guard) and junior Destiny Fields (5-9, forward) are expected to be regulars in the lineup.

Sophomore Malaysia Miller (5-6, guard) is another who will take on an increased role.

Others looking to contribute include seniors Taylor Howard (6-0, post player) and Ally Lang (5-9, forward), junior Leah Goodwin (6-0, post player) and sophomore Jazmyn Fields (5-6, guard).

In addition to losing forward Hannah Gaskins and wing player Brooklyn Pannell to graduation, senior guard Adrian Crockwell transferred to Central and sophomore guard Kennadi Harris transferred to Gahanna.

Pannell averaged a team-best 12.8 points last season and made first-team all-league and third-team all-district.

Gaskins averaged 7.6 points. Crockwell averaged 12.2 points and was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.

"We're not real deep, so we're going to have to switch up our defenses a lot, and the kids have done a real good job," Purtell said. "Gahanna's really good and Pickerington Central has as much talent as anybody if it can put it all together."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

Schedules

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Nov. 24 -- Teays Valley in Gary West Tipoff Classic at home

Nov. 25 -- Cleveland East Tech in Gary West Tipoff Classic at home

Dec. 2 -- vs. Mansfield Senior

*Dec. 5 -- at Lancaster

*Dec. 8 -- vs. Gahanna

Dec. 9 -- at Washington Court House Miami Trace

Dec. 12 -- vs. Newark

*Dec. 15 -- at Grove City

*Dec. 22 -- at Pickerington Central

Dec. 28 -- Boca Raton (Fla.) in Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational

Dec. 29-30 -- TBA in Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational

*Jan. 5 -- vs. Pickerington North

Jan. 8 -- vs. New Albany

*Jan. 11 -- vs. Lancaster

Jan. 14 -- Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame in Classic in the Country at Berlin Hiland

*Jan. 19 -- at Gahanna

Jan. 23 -- at Westerville South

*Jan. 26 -- vs. Grove City

*Feb. 2 -- vs. Pickerington Central

*Feb. 9 -- at Pickerington North

Feb. 12 -- vs. Zanesville

*League contest

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

BOYS BASKETBALL

Dec. 2 -- Dayton Dunbar in All-Ohio High School Hoops Showcase at Whitehall

Dec. 5 -- At Walnut Ridge

BOWLING

*Dec. 4 -- Pickerington North at Holiday Lanes

*Dec. 5 -- Pickerington Central at Rule 3

SWIMMING & DIVING

Dec. 2 -- St. Charles Showdown

WRESTLING

Dec. 2 -- Lee Spitzer Golden Bear Invitational at Upper Arlington

*League contest

Note: Results can be found at ThisWeekSPORTS.com.

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

BOYS BASKETBALL

Dec. 2 -- Dayton Dunbar in All-Ohio High School Hoops Showcase at Whitehall

Dec. 5 -- At Walnut Ridge

BOWLING

*Dec. 4 -- Pickerington North at Holiday Lanes

*Dec. 5 -- Pickerington Central at Rule 3

SWIMMING & DIVING

Dec. 2 -- St. Charles Showdown

WRESTLING

Dec. 2 -- Lee Spitzer Golden Bear Invitational at Upper Arlington

*League contest