Kalie Mascarello was aware she had a strong game offensively in the Whetstone High School girls basketball team's 74-50 loss to Beechcroft on Jan. 18, but the freshman wasn't expecting the response she got from the team's scorekeeper.

Kalie Mascarello was aware she had a strong game offensively in the Whetstone High School girls basketball team's 74-50 loss to Beechcroft on Jan. 18, but the freshman wasn't expecting the response she got from the team's scorekeeper.

"They told me that I scored 24 points, which was a career high," Mascarello said. "I wasn't keeping track at all, so I was like, 'No way.' But I was a little disappointed in myself that night because I thought I was pretty lacking on defense."

It's that type of attitude that has helped Mascarello stand out during a building year for the Braves, who lost 11 of their first 14 games.

Whetstone has five underclassmen in key roles under first-year coach Scott Radde and hasn't won on the court since beating Village Academy 57-29 on Nov. 30. The Braves picked up a forfeit win Dec. 28 at the Gilead Christian Holiday Tournament when Cleveland Heights Lutheran East did not show up for the consolation game.

Whetstone squandered a 20-point lead in a 58-52 loss to Linden-McKinley on Jan. 11.

Mascarello is perhaps the brightest hope for a respectable finish to this season as well as to the future. The Braves will lose four seniors at season's end, but only Haley Buskirk and Brittney Wilson have been key players.

Mascarello, who has been averaging 12 points, is new to Columbus City Schools after attending Calumet Christian from kindergarten through eighth grade. Calumet Christian doesn't have a high school and doesn't have athletics, but Mascarello has been playing at the AAU level for several years.

"I grew up in a private school, and people told me that things would be a lot different (at Whetstone)," Mascarello said. "But I'm getting along with everyone really well. The coach has been doing a good job. At the beginning of the season we struggled a lot, but the last few games we've been playing more as a team.

"This is my first public school, and it's been a lot of fun. It's a lot bigger than the other school I was at. Calumet Christian only had two hallways in the entire school. There are lots of different cultures here, and I like meeting new people. I think (Whetstone's) a good school."

Radde has enjoyed Mascarello's ball-handling and shooting abilities, as well the fact that at 5-foot-8, she's one of the team's tallest players.

Mascarello, who has been seeing some action at point guard, made four 3-pointers in the loss to Beechcroft and had made 15 3s through 14 games.

"She's going to be asked to do a lot of things as a freshman," Radde said. "She created a lot of mismatches with her ball-handling and her size. She's played some point guard and some center all in the same game.

"It's nice to have a player of her caliber who can (complement) what Haley, Symiah (Campbell) and some of the others can do. She's big for our program."

•Boys basketball coach Kevin Arway believes his team might have gained a valuable lesson from its 54-51 loss to Beechcroft on Jan. 18.

Trailing 42-27 after three quarters, the Braves rallied to make it close behind an attack that featured solid defense and rebounding. That same formula helped them win seven consecutive games between Dec. 20 and Jan. 14.

Cameron Vines, Leo Cleary-Foeller and Matt Wallace all are averaging about seven rebounds.

"We played very well for four minutes, but it was too little, too late," Arway said. "We got away from some of the things that contributed to our success. The last few games we rebounded the ball well, but we got away from some of the keys to our success. We did some things that were typical of a team that was not used to winning games."

The Braves have seven seniors, but finding consistency has been something that Arway said has been a work in progress.

The loss to Beechcroft ended the first round of the City League-North Division schedule for Whetstone, which has five games remaining to improve its record before the Division I district tournament draw on Feb. 13.

"We were kind of limping to some of those wins because we had a lot of turnovers in them," Arway said. "Even though we were winning games, the sloppiness was setting us up for one of those games, and Beechcroft is a lot better than they were in November.

"We're still the same group of guys who really got it done down in Dayton (in winning the Dayton Northridge Holiday Tournament on Dec. 29 and 30). We'll have a better idea of who we are next week at this time."

AT A GLANCE

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

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Jan. 11 - Defeated Linden 51-44

*Jan. 14 - Def. Mifflin 48-46

*Jan. 18 - Lost to Beechcroft 54-51

*Jan. 24 - Lost to Brookhaven 64-37

*Jan. 25 - Played Northland

*Jan. 28 - Home vs. Columbus East

*Feb. 1 - At Centennial

Of note: The Braves were 9-4 overall and 4-4 in the City-North before Jan. 25.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Jan. 11 - Lost to Linden 58-52

*Jan. 14 - Lost to Mifflin 56-43

*Jan. 18 - Lost to Beechcroft 74-50

*Jan. 24 - Lost to Brookhaven 63-38

*Jan. 25 - Played Northland

*Jan. 28 - At Columbus East

*Feb. 1 - Home vs. Centennial

Of note: The Braves were 3-12 overall and 0-10 in the City-North before Jan. 25.

SWIMMING & DIVING

Jan. 22 - Boys: Lost to Dublin Scioto 105-65, lost to Bexley 89-77; Girls: Def. Scioto 78-72, lost to Bexley 85-73

Jan. 29 - Centennial Invitational at Columbus Aquatic Center

WRESTLING

Jan. 13 - Def. Northland 56-29, def. DeSales B 72-6

Jan. 26 - Competed against Watterson

Feb. 2 - At Centennial

*City-North game