As has been the case in nearly every game this season, the Bexley High School girls basketball team will be at a considerable height disadvantage when it travels to Newark Catholic on Friday, Jan. 28.

As has been the case in nearly every game this season, the Bexley High School girls basketball team will be at a considerable height disadvantage when it travels to Newark Catholic on Friday, Jan. 28.

However, that doesn't concern Jelicia Shelton. The 5-foot-7 senior post player said the Lions make up for what they may lack in height by outhustling their opponents.

"We're not tall at all, but I don't really see it as a disadvantage," Shelton said. "We have to work 10 times harder than the other teams. We know we're shorter, but we're tough and fast and get after it."

The Lions have only one player - 5-10 senior center Amubie SamAgwor - 5-8 or taller. The rest of their players are listed 5-7 or shorter.

Despite that, Bexley was outrebounding its opponents by an average of 29.5 rebounds to 27.3 through 14 games. The numbers are even more telling when broken down by wins and losses. Through 14 games, the Lions outrebounded opponents by an average of 31 to 23.4 in victories and were outrebounded by an average of 35 to 26 in losses.

"If we're going to have any type of success on the basketball court, we have to get rebounds," coach Jim Strode said. "That's non-negotiable.

"Rebounding comes down to two things - technique and toughness. Even though teams may have a good six inches on us, I'll take my kids' toughness over any team we face any day of the week."

Shelton, who was averaging 11.3 rebounds through 14 games, has become one of the area's top rebounders.

"Shelton has always had a nose for the basketball," Strode said. "Her bread and butter are getting rebounds."

Shelton set the program-record for rebounds in a game with 24 in a 68-64 win over Beechcroft on Dec. 22. That effort topped the previous mark of 20 set by Sue Ramsey, currently the Ashland University women's basketball coach, in 1974.

Shelton came within four rebounds of matching Ramsey's record last season by grabbing 16 in a 57-36 loss at Granville.

"She probably would've gotten the record that night if her coach hadn't pulled her out of the game," Strode said with a laugh, adding that he was unaware Shelton was so close to the record in the game against Granville last season. "But for her to get the record this year in a win is the cherry on top."

"That has been my goal since my freshman year," Shelton said of the record. "My freshman year, I wasn't good at anything but rebounding, but I wanted to get my name up on the board."

As a freshman, Shelton debated whether she was going to play basketball after being cut from the middle school team the year before.

"That was hard to accept," she said. "I didn't want to try out because I was afraid I was going to fail again. My parents (Tracy and Jermaine Shelton) encouraged me to get involved with something because they didn't want me sitting around all winter. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made."

Bexley is second in the MSL-Ohio Division at 7-3 behind Granville (7-2) after defeating the visiting Aces 56-38 on Jan. 22. The win was the Lions' first over Granville since a 76-56 victory on Jan. 12, 2008.

Granville won the first meeting this season 55-41 on Dec. 10.

Entering the week, Licking Valley was third in the MSL-Ohio at 6-4, followed by Columbus Academy at 5-4, Newark Catholic at 5-5 and Heath, Lakewood and Whitehall at 3-7.

•Senior forward Jon Primes of the boys basketball team had averaged 22.2 points over the previous four games before the Lions played Heath on Jan. 25.

Primes had 26 points in a 65-46 win over Wellington on Jan. 18 and scored 25 in a 76-72 win over Academy on Jan. 21.

However, how the Lions fare in the second round of MSL-Ohio play is going to come down to Primes' supporting cast.

"Everyone has seen everyone. Everyone knows everyone's strengths," coach Dave Gustin said of the league. "You have to go to your second- and third-option people because your first-option people are going to be closely guarded the second time through the league."

Entering this week, Bexley was tied with Licking Valley and Whitehall for fifth in the MSL-Ohio at 3-4, behind Granville at 6-1, Heath at 5-2 and Academy and Newark Catholic at 4-3. Lakewood was last at 0-7.

"I like our open court play and how we're able to get the ball down (the court) and get some decent looks," Gustin said. "I think if we get the ball in transition, we can be pretty effective. We need to rebound and then go with it."

AT A GLANCE

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for Bexley boys basketball, girls basketball, swimming and diving, and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

Jan. 18 - Defeated Wellington 65-46. Jon Primes had 26 points.

*Jan. 21 - Def. Columbus Academy 76-72. Primes had 25 points and Jalen Robinette scored 19.

*Jan. 25 - Played Heath

*Jan. 29 - Home vs. Whitehall. The Lions defeated the Rams 46-38 on Dec. 16.

Of note: The Lions were 7-5 overall and 3-4 in the MSL-Ohio before Jan. 25.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Jan. 18 - Def. Whitehall 51-47. Jelicia Shelton had 20 points and Kylee Soga scored 15.

*Jan. 22 - Def. Granville 56-38. Bailey Breese had 25 points and Soga scored 12.

Jan. 25 - Played Jonathan Alder

*Jan. 28 - At Newark Catholic. The Lions defeated the Green Wave 54-43 on Dec. 14.

*Feb. 1 - Home vs. Lakewood. The Lions defeated the Lancers 52-43 on Dec. 18.

Of note: The Lions were 10-4 overall before Jan. 25 and are 7-3 in the MSL-Ohio.

SWIMMING & DIVING

Jan. 21 - Boys: Def. Reynoldsburg 94-48; Girls: Def. Reynoldsburg 122-42

Jan. 22 - Boys: Def. Whetstone 89-77, lost to Dublin Scioto 105-63; Girls: Def. Whetstone 85-73, def. Scioto 80-70

Jan. 27 - MSL diving championships at Columbus Aquatic Center

Jan. 29 - MSL swimming championships at Columbus Academy

WRESTLING

*Jan. 20 - Matches against host Licking Valley and Academy postponed. Makeup date has not been announced.

Jan. 21-22 - Finished fifth (112) in 15-team Grandview Invitational behind champion Whitehall (319). Derek Cain (152 pounds) finished second.

*Jan. 27 - Home vs. Heath and Newark Catholic

*MSL-Ohio contest