After defeating Caledonia River Valley 48-29 in the first round of the Division II district tournament Feb. 23, the Bexley High School boys basketball team had eight days to prepare for its next opponent, second-seeded Brookhaven.

After defeating Caledonia River Valley 48-29 in the first round of the Division II district tournament Feb. 23, the Bexley High School boys basketball team had eight days to prepare for its next opponent, second-seeded Brookhaven.

According to senior Jalen Robinette, the Lions needed every one of those days.

"We get some time now to rest our legs and then we're going to go hard," said Robinette, who had 11 points and 11 rebounds against River Valley. "We have a lot of time to get ready. We just can't overdo it."

The Lions, who improved to 7-14 with the win over River Valley, play Brookhaven at 7:45 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at Dublin Scioto.

"We go in, practice hard for an hour and a half and then we get (the players) out," coach Dave Gustin said. "Right now, you're not so much developing good play as you're saving good play."

Brookhaven is 15-5 and has won 11 of its last 13 games. The Bearcats defeated Hamilton Township 82-22 in the first round of the tournament Feb. 23 as forward Khalid King had 25 points and guard Randal Clarkson scored 14.

Brookhaven has averaged 78.4 points in its last five games, which included wins over Beechcroft (94-73 on Jan. 31), Centennial (75-53 on Feb. 7), Columbus East (78-65 on Feb. 10) and Hamilton Township. Its lone setback during that stretch was a 75-63 loss to Northland - the top seed in Division I - on Feb. 3.

In those five games, King, who has signed with North Carolina A&T, averaged 22.2 points, Clarkson averaged 15.8 and Kevin Greenhow averaged 13.4.

"It comes down to defensive transition," Robinette said when asked about the key to beating Brookhaven. "You have to stop the ball, get after shooters and protect the rim. On offense, we can't get sloppy. We have to slow things down and make them play defense.

"We want to make sure we have good ball pressure," Gustin said. "I thought we did a good job with that (against River Valley)."

Bexley led River Valley 15-14 after the first quarter and held the Vikings to three points in the second quarter and four in the third quarter. The Lions led 31-21 after the third quarter.

"I was very pleased with how we played," Gustin said. "We just came off our worst defeat of the year (a 79-54 loss to Columbus Academy in the regular-season finale on Feb. 17). But with every defeat we've gone through, our kids bounced back every single time."

Aaron Eldridge added 10 points against River Valley.

•None of the four members of the wrestling team advanced out of the Division II district tournament held Feb. 24 and 25 at Uhrichsville Claymont.

Seniors Derek Cain (152 pounds) and D.J. Jones (132) and sophomore Sam Shorr (106) all went 1-2 and senior Ahmed Khaloufi (220) went 0-2.

The top four finishers in each weight class at district qualified for the state tournament, which runs Thursday, March 1, through Saturday, March 3, at Ohio State.

Cain, who finished the season 28-11, opened district with a 14-4 win over Wintersville Indian Creek's David Johnston in the first round but was pinned by Millersburg West Holmes' Justin Stitzlein and lost to Centennial's Michael Jamison 7-6 in his next two matches.

"I tried to get another takedown (against Jamison) late in the match, but I couldn't get him," Cain said.

Jones, who finished 31-8, defeated Minerva's Dalton Hartshorn 10-1 in the first round but lost to Steubenville's Jake McKitrick 9-5 and East Liverpool's Frankie Williams 10-5.

Shorr, who finished 19-12, lost to Whitehall's Noah Jay 7-3 in the first round, defeated Carrollton's C.J. Brady 3-1 in the second round and lost to Sparta Highland's Mike Stewart 6-4.

Khaloufi, who finished 6-10, was pinned by Whitehall's Alex Farrow in the first round and lost to Minerva's Jacob Smith 13-6 in his second match.

Bexley scored seven points at district to finish 38th behind champion Steubenville (202.5) as 44 teams scored.

The Lions finished seventh (87) in the 14-team Division II sectional tournament Feb. 18 at Licking Heights behind champion Licking Valley (194.5). Cain and Jones both placed second while Shorr was third and Khaloufi was fourth.

The top four finishers in each weight class at sectional advanced to district.

Bexley also placed seventh (83) in the MSL-Ohio Division tournament Feb. 11 behind champion and host Licking Valley (258), Whitehall (190.5), Newark Catholic (131.5), Granville (96.5), Columbus Academy (84) and Lakewood (83.5) and ahead of Heath (64).

The Lions lose seven seniors in Cain, Jones, Khaloufi, Canon Colvin (10-13 at 145), Kris Johnson (7-12 at heavyweight), Cameron Stewart (19-13 at 170) and Henry Warren (4-11 at 145) but expect to return Shorr, junior Josh Gewirtz (6-11 at 138) and sophomore Daniel Lee (10-19 at 195).

"The thing I will remember is the brotherhood we had," Cain said. "We knew how to communicate with each other and help each other out on the mat."