The Westerville South High School girls basketball team received balanced scoring in winning its second consecutive Division I district title.
With all five starters scoring in double figures, the sixth-seeded Wildcats defeated eighth-seeded Gahanna 70-58 on March 2 at Ohio Dominican.
South improved to 19-5 and will play defending state champion Pickerington Central in a regional semifinal March 5 at Otterbein. The teams met in a regional final last season, with Central winning 60-52. The Tigers also beat the Wildcats 61-42 on Jan. 8.
Against Gahanna, Gabby Hutcherson had 16 points to lead South. The 6-foot-2 junior post player was a force inside as she also had 15 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Aja Austin added 14 points, Peyton Guice and Sommer Pitzer each scored 12 and Anyssa Jones scored 11 for the Wildcats.
Jones, a junior guard and Ohio State commit, reached 1,000 career points during the contest. She entered the game four points shy of the milestone.
“Last year, we brought the same amount of intensity, if not more,” Jones said. “We played really well together today and I’m proud of that. We’ve been working towards a goal all year and we played really well. … It’s tough going back-to-back.”
Edyn Battle had 21 points and Morgan Darnell scored 16 to lead Gahanna, which finished 18-8.
Pickerington Central 56, Olentangy Liberty 21
Maliya Perry’s 23 points and eight rebounds helped key a first-half onslaught as top-seeded Central buried 10th-seeded Liberty in a Division I district final for the second year in a row and won its fourth consecutive district title March 2 at Ohio Dominican.
Perry scored 12 of those points in a five-minute span that saw the Tigers take an 18-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and extend their lead to 29-3 halfway through the second. The Patriots were held without a field goal for the first 8 minutes, 13 seconds.
“A lot of teams focus on the offensive side of the ball, but today the detail was on the defensive side to take advantage of our length and force them to throw over the top,” Central coach Johnathan Hedgepeth said. “We’re locked in right now.”
Madison Greene added eight points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals and Jocelyn Tate had eight points and two steals as Central improved to 25-1. The Tigers, who are seeking their second consecutive state championship, will play Westerville South in a regional semifinal March 5 at Otterbein.
Central defeated Liberty 54-12 in a district final last season.
Teegan Pifher had nine points and three rebounds to lead the Patriots, who finished 18-8.
Reynoldsburg 61, Upper Arlington 32
Uju Ezeudu scored 13 of her 20 points in the third quarter, and fifth-seeded Reynoldsburg used strong starts to both halves to defeat seventh-seeded Upper Arlington in a Division I district final March 2 at Ohio Dominican.
Destiny Fields had a game-high 21 points to lead the Raiders, who improved to 20-6 and will play Newark in a regional semifinal March 5 at Otterbein. Reynoldsburg held UA scoreless for the first 3:34 of the game and the first 5:20 of the second half to take a 44-18 lead.
The Golden Bears used a 10-0 run in the second quarter to get within 26-17 at halftime.
“Our defense kind of got us going. Bre Johnson guarded (UA’s) Macy (Spielman) and she was unbelievable, beating her to spots and staying with her,” said Raiders coach Jack Purtell, whose team won its eighth district championship in 10 years. “We had a good plan. We have a bunch of tough, homegrown kids who compete hard. (UA) pressured our guards, but Uju is such a good athlete. She’s played in a lot of games for us and her durability and strength separate her from a lot of kids.”
Spielman, a Bowling Green recruit, led the Bears with 16 points.
UA, which was seeking its first district title since 2016, finished 19-7.
Newark 58, Watterson 34
Katie Shumate scored 18 points to lead second-seeded Newark past fourth-seeded Watterson in a Division I district final March 2 at Ohio Dominican.
The Wildcats, who won their fifth consecutive district title, led 21-11 after one quarter and outscored the Eagles 19-4 in the third quarter.
Newark improved to 24-3 and will play Reynoldsburg in a regional semifinal March 5 at Otterbein.
Kilyn McGuff had 10 points and Grace Jenkins scored seven for the Eagles, who finished 23-3.