The Gahanna Lincoln High School girls basketball team was forced to spend time brushing up on its decision-making when a game is on the line and making free throws after a recent span in which it lost two of three.

The Gahanna Lincoln High School girls basketball team was forced to spend time brushing up on its decision-making when a game is on the line and making free throws after a recent span in which it lost two of three.

The implications of the first rough stretch of the season for the Lions could be felt in multiple ways this week.

Unless his team can find more consistency offensively, coach Rick Hauser knows Gahanna will have a tough time Friday, Feb. 3, when it travels to Pickerington North for an OCC-Ohio Division contest. The Panthers were ranked third in the Division I state poll last week behind Reynoldsburg and Uniontown Lake.

The Lions' 40-39 loss to visiting Lancaster on Jan. 24 also could dampen their seeding hopes heading into the Division I district tournament draw Sunday, Feb. 5.

"This was a pretty bad stub in our toe," Hauser said. "I think this loss is really going to drop us. Even if we beat Pickerington North, everyone's records will already be turned in. Not only is there Reynoldsburg and Pickerington North, but you've also got Zanesville, Northland and (Olentangy) Orange, and (Dublin) Coffman's there with only two losses. So this could sink us a few spots.

"We've just not been getting consistent play from different kids. That's really the problem. We're struggling with (only) two or three kids playing well every night."

Gahanna followed the loss to Lancaster by beating Pickerington Central 44-34 on Jan. 27. The Tigers have lost eight of their last 10 and are 5-12 overall.

Quiera Lampkins had 16 points against Lancaster and 17 against Central, but was the only Gahanna player in double figures in either game.

Lampkins is averaging 12.8 points and scored a season-high 23 points in a 55-51 loss to North on Dec. 22.

In the first matchup, North outscored the Lions 21-12 during the fourth quarter and was led by Christy Macioce, who had 15 points, and Emily Thomas, who scored 13. The Panthers are 15-2, with both of their losses coming against Reynoldsburg.

Gahanna travels to Grove City on Tuesday, Feb. 7, before closing the regular season Feb. 10 at Reynoldsburg.

The Lions are third in the OCC-Ohio at 8-3, trailing Reynoldsburg (11-0) and North (9-2).

"We need to come out stronger, play really hard and make the easy baskets," said junior post player Zenobia Bess, who is averaging 6.2 points but was held to two points in the first matchup against North. "I know we can beat these teams because we have the talent. We've just got to actually do it."

•A slow start factored into the boys team's 60-46 loss at Central on Jan. 27.

Gahanna, which also lost to the Tigers 58-54 on Dec. 16, had lost two of three games before playing Chillicothe on Jan. 31 in a makeup game from Jan. 21.

One of the positives during the recent stretch for the Lions has been the play of senior guard Isaiah Israel.

A transfer from Independence, Israel, a 6-foot guard, was averaging 6.2 points through 15 games. He scored a season-high 17 points in a 67-61 loss to visiting Newark on Jan. 20 and has provided a boost with his quickness.

Israel is one of five seniors on the Lions' roster.

"Israel's coming on," coach Tony Staib said. "He's never going to quit."

One thing Staib has stressed to his team as it heads into the final two weeks of the regular season is bouncing back. The Lions lost two of their first four but won seven of eight before falling to Newark.

Gahanna will look to earn season sweeps of North (Friday, Feb. 3) and Grove City (Tuesday, Feb. 7). It then will play host to Reynoldsburg on Feb. 10 before closing the regular season Feb. 17 at Groveport.

The district tournament draw is Feb. 12.

"It's a big challenge," Staib said. "We've talked about how good teams don't lose two in a row, but that's a tough mindset."