Whetstone High School girls basketball coach Bucky Walters doesn't want his players to lose focus over the holiday break.
The Braves are out to a strong start and Walters wants their early-season success to carry over to the second half of the season. They will have an opportunity to maintain their level of play when they play host to the Whetstone Winter Classic.
Briggs will play Groveport in the event's opening game at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27, followed by a game between Whetstone and Whitehall. The consolation game will be played at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, followed by the championship game.
"I'm hoping there will be some good basketball played in front of a good crowd," Walters said. "It would be nice if we could win this thing in front of a good crowd. But regardless, this is a good opportunity for us to play some good basketball over the holiday break and make sure we focus on our game and the things that we need to do successfully in the second half of the season."
Whetstone, which was 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the City League-North Division before playing Centennial on Dec. 20, lost to Northland 79-58 in a league game Dec. 17.
The Braves had four players score in double figures against the Vikings. Sophomore guard Cecilia Bulgrin led the way with 13 points, followed by Kalie Mascarello with 12, Brenna O'Sullivan with 11 and Lily Morris with 10.
Whetstone trailed 53-46 at the end of the third quarter but was outscored 26-12 over the final eight minutes.
"We had good offensive balance, which is important for us because we don't have one dominant big-time scorer," said Mascarello, a senior guard. "When we have balance, we usually do pretty well. But we also aren't a very big team inside and that hurts, so we also have to rebound as a team."
Colleen Kelly, Liz Khoury and Emily Morrison also have scored in double figures this season.
Boys basketball team struggling for wins
The boys basketball team has had a difficult time remaining competitive this season.
Whetstone fell to 1-5 overall and 1-3 in the City-North with a 110-35 loss to defending league champion Northland on Dec. 17.
The Braves, who played league-rival Centennial on Dec. 20, trailed 28-7 after the first quarter, 54-20 at halftime and 84-25 after three quarters.
Aaron Adair had 15 points to lead Whetstone and Tommie Lee scored 10.
Through six games, the smallest margin of defeat in the Braves' five losses was 19 points, which came against Columbus East (51-32 on Dec. 9). The largest margin was 75 points, which came against Northland.
Whetstone's lone win through six games came against Columbus International (51-45 on Dec. 13).