The Dublin Scioto boys basketball team entered the latter stages of the regular season looking to build on a 62-45 win over Worthington Kilbourne on Jan. 31.
The Irish were 10-7 overall and 7-4 in the OCC-Cardinal Division before Thomas Worthington on Feb. 4 and will visit Hilliard Bradley on Friday, Feb. 7, for a league contest.
"It was a great win, but we have a lot of season left," coach Mike Moler said. "Let's not be satisfied. Let's keep building. Let's give it a shot. We're not going to finish first in the league. I don't think anyone will catch Bradley at this point."
The Jaguars, who beat Scioto 48-27 on Jan. 7, were 11-0 in the OCC-Cardinal and had won 54 consecutive league games before facing Jerome on Feb. 4.
"We didn't score the first time against Bradley," Moler said. "Their defense was smothering us. They pressured us and surprised us early, and we just never got untracked offensively. They really do a good job of playing defense. You have to make shots. They force you to make outside shots."
Scioto closes league play Feb. 14 at home against Jerome.
The Irish also are preparing for the Division I district tournament, which begins Feb. 22. The tournament draw will be held Sunday, Feb. 9.
"There's about six or seven teams that are above the rest and there's a bunch of other teams," Moler said. "Central District Division I has a lot of teams in the middle who could beat anybody on any given night. I foresee some upsets this year because I don't think there's a big gap in talent like we've seen the last couple of years."
Scioto avenged a 56-45 loss at Kilbourne on Jan. 3 with a balanced offensive performance. Drew Bryant led the Irish with 16 points, followed by Benjamin Lombardo with 12 and Jayden Prince and Jaydon Pearson each with 10.
"We needed that win," Moler said. "We let a couple (wins) slip away the last couple of weeks. The Reynoldsburg game (a 48-47 loss on Jan. 18), we played well enough to win. In the Maryville game (a 45-36 loss on Jan. 28), we were winning most of the game, but we didn't execute late in the game. It was something we needed to experience and close out the game the right way."
The win was extra special for Prince, a senior who played in the Kilbourne program as a freshman before transferring to Scioto before his sophomore year.
"It was a great atmosphere," Prince said. "It's always a lot of fun to play them and it was a lot of fun to get a win against them. ... I'm still pretty cool with about half of them. I have a couple of buddies that I'm still real close with who didn't like my move (to Scioto). There's a little bit of beef there."
Pearson had nine points and Lombardo and Prince both scored eight in the loss at Marysville.
"Coach did a good job pulling us back together after the loss to Marysville," Prince said. "It was really difficult on the seniors. We tightened our grip on the season really quickly and we have to start to win. We have a tough week against Thomas and Hilliard Bradley."
Through 17 games, Prince was averaging a team-best 12.1 points, followed by Pearson (9.6), Lombardo (8.5) and Bryant (8.1). Xavier Lopes was averaging a team-high 5.2 rebounds, followed by Prince (4.9) and Bryant and Lombardo (both 4.0).
Le earns milestone win in wrestling
Junior Dylan Le of the wrestling team earned his 100th career win by pinning Thomas' Charlie Erickson in 2 minutes, 37 seconds at 126 pounds Jan. 30.
Scioto rallied for a 40-36 win over the visiting Cardinals to improve to 2-4 in the OCC-Cardinal.
Also winning by pin were Johnathon Segura at 132 (3:48) and Daniel Segura at 152 (3:03).
The Irish finished sixth (107.5) of 14 teams in the Rieman Invitational on Feb. 1 at Delaware, behind champion Coffman (287.5).
Daniel Segura (152) finished first, Le (113) placed second, Donovan Hardin (heavyweight) was third and Matthew Howard (145) placed fifth.
"I hope we're getting ready for the postseason," coach Adam Huddle said.
"We have to dial it in. We have to gear ourselves up for that run."
Scioto is not competing in the Division I team dual tournament, which begins with regional action Saturday, Feb. 8.
The individual tournament begins Feb. 29, with the Irish competing in a sectional at Upper Arlington.
Girls basketball team rebounds from losses
The girls basketball team bounced back from a pair of losses to defeat Kilbourne 43-40 on Jan. 31.
Karleigh Rothe had 12 points to lead the Irish and Lauren Erickson and Marlae Davis both scored 10.
Rothe scored 10 points in a 42-39 loss at Davidson on Jan. 28.
The Irish, who lost to Delaware 47-41 in overtime on Jan. 24, were 13-6 overall and 8-4 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Thomas on Feb. 4.
Entering action Feb. 4, Bradley was first in the league at 11-1 and Kilbourne was second at 9-3.
Scioto is seeded 17th in the 48-team Division I district tournament and will play host to 25th-seeded UA in the first round Feb. 15.
Below are the coming schedules for the Scioto boys basketball, girls basketball, gymnastics, hockey and swimming & diving teams:
*Feb. 7 -- At Hilliard Bradley. The Irish lost to the Jaguars 48-27 on Jan. 7.
Feb. 11 -- Home vs Watterson
*Feb. 7 -- Home vs. Bradley. The Irish lost to the Jaguars 48-38 on Jan. 7.
Feb. 6 -- OCC-Cardinal meet at Worthington Kilbourne
*Feb. 8 -- Gahanna at Chiller Dublin
*Feb. 9 -- Watterson at Chiller Dublin
SWIMMING & DIVING
Feb. 8 -- Division I sectional at Kenyon College. Winner of each swimming event, along with 27 at-large qualifiers in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites, advance to district Feb. 13 at Ohio State. There is no diving at sectional.