The Hilliard Davidson gymnastics team entered the season with a new look after its top two performers from a year ago decided not to return.
Senior Nikia Scurlock and junior Emma Conrad are not back with the Wildcats, who will look to senior returnees Jessica Cramer, Chelsie Hartman and Dani Mason to help fill the void.
"Dani, Chelsie and Jess are our seniors," said 18th-year coach Carol Eskay, who also coaches Bradley and Darby. "They're demonstrating good leadership. It's still early. We're trying to find our niche and where things are going."
Also back are juniors Megan McCabe and Hope Tageson, while freshmen Kaitlyn Crossin and Kate LaCroix also should contribute.
Last season in the district meet in the all-around, Tageson finished 41st (31.75), McCabe was 45th (31.375) and Mason tied for 74th (29.175).
"We are pretty small, but overall we're a strong team and I think we'll have a good season," Hartman said.
Davidson finished 12th (100.625) in the 17-team Hilliard Invitational on Dec. 14 at Darby behind champion Dublin Jerome (135.675).
McCabe led the Wildcats, finishing 28th in the all-around (31.15) and tying for 12th on vault (7.9) and balance beam (8.4). Mason tied for 13th on vault (7.8) and was 41st in the all-around (30.125) and Crossin tied for 15th on vault (7.6).
"It's a fun day and we get to highlight all of our Hilliard gymnasts," Eskay said. "It's a good beginning to the season. It gets them used to the bigger-meet fields, so it's a fun day."
Davidson won the OCC-Central Division meet last season but finished second overall in the league with 28 points (5-2 in duals), behind Upper Arlington (30, 7-0).
"We have a smaller squad, so we want to make sure we stay healthy and keep as many numbers up there as we can," Eskay said. "We've already improved upon our scores, so we're hoping to settle in and improve on the (team) score. We want to work on getting our routines in shape."
Cramer credits Eskay for her progression in the sport.
"She's taught us so much that we can use beyond gymnastics, like into college," Cramer said. "(She's taught us) to work as a team."
Scurlock competed at state as a freshman and sophomore and led Davidson at district last season, tying for 16th in the all-around (34.0) and finishing 10th on floor exercise (9.0). Conrad tied for 31st in the all-around (32.6) at district a year ago.
"I was disappointed, but I also respect kids' decisions," Eskay said. "If it was the right decision for (Scurlock), then I support her. Obviously, we would love to have her back out, but people's lives take them on different paths."
Wrestlers shine at Hamilton Township
The wrestling team finished second (190.5) in the 13-team Hamilton Township Classic on Dec. 14 behind Washington Court House Miami Trace (293).
Dez Gartrell finished first at 160 pounds to lead the Wildcats. Ethan Riegel (113), Lance Jelen (170) and Braden Eaton (195) all placed second, while Wyatt Moore (126) and Quin Hopping (138) both finished third and Josh Henderson (145) was fourth.
Girls basketball team beats Golden Bears
The girls basketball team turned in a solid performance in a 60-21 home win over UA in an OCC-Central contest Dec. 13.
Kierstyn Liming had 21 points and Sydney Petersen scored 11 to lead the Wildcats.
Brianna O'Connor had 14 points and Grace Royer scored 10 in a 49-47 loss at Lancaster on Dec. 10, while O'Connor scored 11 in a 50-35 home loss to Watterson on Dec. 9.
Davidson was 3-3 overall before playing Bradley on Dec. 17 and is 2-1 in the league.
Below are the coming schedules for the Davidson boys basketball, girls basketball and bowling teams:
*Dec. 20 -- At Central Crossing
Dec. 21 -- Home vs. Watterson
*Dec. 20 -- Home vs. Central Crossing
*Dec. 20 -- Worthington Kilbourne at Capri Lanes