Notebook: Hilliard Davidson girls basketball team feeling impact of pandemic

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group

With limited action because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Hilliard Davidson girls basketball coach Joy Taylor is pleased anytime her team can hit the court.  

The Wildcats, whose schedule has been affected by the pandemic, were 2-5 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Central Division before playing Upper Arlington on Jan. 15.  

“Any win is a nice win,” Taylor said. “People think I’m exaggerating when I say we’ve had 17 practices (before Jan. 9) since Nov. 16. I’m not exaggerating. Some of these teams have played 10, 12, 14 games and we haven’t, so that puts us at a disadvantage right now. We’re just starting out our season and some people are halfway through. … We just have to keep getting better.”  

Davidson's Brianna O'Connor drives against Reynoldsburg's Trinity Ramos earlier this season. O'Connor scored 17 points Jan. 13 in a 53-49 loss to Canal Winchester as the Wildcats dropped to 2-5 before playing Upper Arlington on Jan. 15.

Davidson split a pair of games with its Hilliard rivals, beating Darby 53-46 on Jan. 9 at home and losing 51-42 at Bradley on Jan. 12.  

Brianna O’Connor and Kiersten Cashell each scored 15 points against Darby, and O'Connor scored 17 in a 53-49 loss to Canal Winchester on Jan. 13. Junior Kiersytn Liming, who played at Davidson last season, led the Indians with 20 points. 

Grace Royer scored nine points in a 59-35 loss to visiting Olentangy Liberty on Jan. 8.  

“We’ve been a little bit out of sync offensively, and we’re still learning where we need to be defensively for different defenses that we want to play,” Taylor said. “I’m happy with the effort of our kids and the positivity and with their composure. We’ve played some tough teams already and we’ve had good composure, good effort from everybody. Our seniors have been really strong leaders.”  

•Coach John Riggs said the Bradley wrestling team has a young lineup and the  pandemic has done his program no favors. 

The Jaguars lost their OCC-Central opener 67-3 to Upper Arlington on Jan. 7 with most of their upper-weight competitors out of the lineup because of positive coronavirus tests. Freshman Jason Morbitzer, the backup at heavyweight, gave Bradley its only points with a win by decision. 

“We had some forfeits because of COVID, and we didn’t have any spare parts,” Riggs said. “We’re just not deep enough to make up for the bodies that are out.” 

Riggs said junior Julien Kleiv (106 pounds) and sophomores Caden Ellison (126) and Robert Snyder (heavyweight) are his most experienced wrestlers. 

“We’re young as it is and this doesn’t make things any easier,” he said. “That makes it tough sledding for us.” 

The Jaguars had an OCC-Central dual against Davidson on Jan. 14 and will face Olentangy Liberty in another league dual Jan. 21. 

–Scott Hennen 

Ashley Powers scored 14 points as the Panthers defeated Olentangy Berlin 52-36 on Jan. 12 for their second consecutive league victory.

Darby girls basketball coach Tay Tufts is looking to make up for a lost month after the Panthers missed much of December because of the coronavirus. 

They were 3-6 overall but 2-1 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Dublin Jerome on Jan. 15.  

“We’re playing better and we’re playing together. We’re slowing the game down a little bit more,” Tufts said. “Being out for those two weeks with COVID really hurt us. We’ve been using the last five games as practices. We only had three practices in the entire month of December and we’re packing in the games now. The girls are playing better and they’re executing better.” 

Darby entered the Jerome game coming off back-to-back league victories, as the Panthers defeated Olentangy Berlin 52-36 on Jan. 12 and Thomas Worthington 52-36 on Jan. 8.  

Ashley Powers scored 14 points and Bella Heaton had 11 against Berlin, and  

Heaton had 15 points and Tayen Brown added 12 against Thomas. 

The Panthers are scheduled to play host to league-foe Marysville on Jan. 22 and Bradley on Jan. 26. 

–Scott Hennen 

•Olivia Johnson was averaging 197.4 per game for the Bradley girls bowling team through Jan. 12 and was third overall in the COHSBC behind Gahanna’s Lilu Smith (213.0) and Delaware’s Hannah Halstead (202.3). 

Katie Yabroff (166.6) and Madyson McKay (164.4) were next for the Jaguars, who were 3-0 overall and in the COHSBC-B before facing Thomas on Jan. 13 in their OCC-Cardinal opener.  

The Jaguars’ lineup has also included Callie Hribar (162.3), Madison Kennedy (161.3) and Makayla Davis (150.4). 

Nick Caruso (202.3) led the Bradley boys team, which was 2-0 overall and in the COHSBC-B before facing Thomas on Jan. 13.  

Caruso has been joined in the lineup by Brandon Dever (194.0), Joe Dwyer (189.9), Zander Dietz (188.0), Carson Dever (179.7) and Nick Curran (169.8). 

Bradley is scheduled to compete against Worthington Kilbourne on Jan. 22 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl and Darby on Jan. 27 at Sawmill Lanes in both leagues. It meets Gahanna on Jan. 26 at Wayne Webb’s in a COHSBC-B contest. 

–Scott Hennen 

•Will Mifsud had a 190.0 average to lead the Darby boys bowling team though five contests. 

The Panthers were 0-5 overall and in the COHSBC-B before facing Pickerington North on Jan. 14 and 0-1 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Groveport on Jan. 19. 

Zach Brandewie was averaging 184.1, followed by Mason Will (160.9) and Brian Shum (150.0). 

Lyndsey Seagraves (153.1) led the girls team, which was 3-1 overall and in the COHSBC-B before facing Pickerington North and 1-0 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Groveport.  

The lineup also includes Emily Decker (123.2) and Hailey Hunter (119.1). 

Darby is scheduled to play Berlin on Jan. 21 and Delaware on Jan. 25 at Sawmill Lanes in OCC-Cardinal play and Lancaster on Jan. 26 at Tiki Lanes in COHSBC-B play. It faces Bradley on Jan. 27 at Sawmill Lanes in both leagues. 

–Scott Hennen 

•The Davidson wrestling team is looking for improvement under first-year coach Lee Wilson.  

The Wildcats opened OCC-Central action with a 51-27 loss at Olentangy Orange on Jan. 7. Davidson got pins from Wyatt Moore at 120 pounds (1 minute, 14 seconds), Quin Hopping at 132 (4:28) and Richard Lawrence at 182 (4:15), and Hamsa Sawalha won 10-9 at 145.  

The Wildcats, who competed against Bradley on Jan. 14, will visit Dublin Coffman on Jan. 21.  

–Frank DiRenna

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