After it was throttled by Dayton Dunbar 68-41 on Dec. 6, the Brookhaven High School boys basketball shook off the setback by considering it an exception to the rule.

After it was throttled by Dayton Dunbar 68-41 on Dec. 6, the Brookhaven High School boys basketball shook off the setback by considering it an exception to the rule.

When the Bearcats were held scoreless throughout the first quarter of a 56-38 loss Dec. 16 at defending City League-North Division champion Northland in the ThisWeekNews.com Hoop it Up game of the week, the need to be concerned became a more pressing matter.

Brookhaven then slipped into rare territory last Friday. Not only did the Bearcats lose to visiting Whetstone 49-42 -- marking the first loss to the Braves since 1995 -- but it is clear that they'll need to turn things around quickly and get help if they're to get back into the league title race. The Bearcats had won 12 consecutive league titles before earning runner-up finishes the last two years.

"It's a transition year for us," coach Hali Robinson said. "We haven't established chemistry yet. But the guys are playing hard."

Brookhaven edged Sylvania Southview 82-81 on Dec. 5 in an event at Toledo Central Catholic but has struggled offensively since.

Guard Terrence Watkins had 32 points against Southview but was held to four by Whetstone. The Bearcats were outscored 21-6 in the fourth quarter.

The only consistent scoring threat has been 6-foot-6 post player Craig Sealey. He had 18 against the Vikings and 20 last Friday.

Brookhaven had two other non-league opportunities to find its rhythm before returning to City-North play Jan. 6, including a matchup last Tuesday against Ironton in the Ironton Classic.

"We have to keep working on converting in transition," Robinson said. "We'll just keep working on the things that can make us better."

•The girls basketball team also faces an uphill battle in its City-North title hopes.

The two-time defending champion lost to Northland 47-45 on Dec. 16, marking the second consecutive season the Bearcats fell at least once to the Vikings.

One key difference this season, however, is that Northland already has a convincing win over perennial title-contender Mifflin (51-32 on Dec. 12). Even if Brookhaven wins the rematch Jan. 23 on the road, it will need the Vikings to lose a conference game to someone else to get back into the City championship game.

Brookhaven got back on track last Friday with an 83-28 win over Whetstone.

Brianna Holmes had 18 points and Datona Ball added 15 for the Bearcats, who held Louisville-signee Asia Taylor to 11 points.

"(The Northland game) was tough because we couldn't afford to lose that one," coach Reggie Lee said. "They're a pretty good team and it's going to be hard to beat them."

Before posting a season-high point total last Friday, the Bearcats were struggling with inexperience.

While backup Jourdan Stanhope, a 6-foot junior post player, returned from injury last Friday after missing the Northland game, sophomores Brianna Holmes, Travecia Franklin and Marah Morris are in the starting lineup.

"When we go back and look at our film, there's a lot of things we did poorly (against Northland)," Lee said. "We're definitely better than we played. There are times we should have blocked out and didn't. When you start three sophomores, you can expect that."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Brookhaven boys basketball, girls basketball, boys and girls bowling and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Dec. 16 -- Lost to Northland 56-38. Craig Sealey had 18 points and Terrence Watkins added 13. Brookhaven was outscored 15-0 in the opening quarter.

*Last Friday -- Lost to Whetstone 49-42. Sealey scored 20 points.

Last Tuesday -- Played Ironton in Ironton Classic

Saturday -- At Canton McKinley. Last season, Brookhaven won 58-53 in the championship of the McKinley Classic.

*Jan. 6 -- Home vs. Centennial. Brookhaven won 79-62 and 73-41 last season.

Of note: The Bearcats were 1-3 overall before last Tuesday and are 0-2 in the City-North.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Dec. 9 -- Def. East 56-24

*Dec. 12 -- Def. Linden-McKinley 70-36

*Dec. 16 -- Lost to Northland 47-45

*Last Friday -- Def. Whetstone 83-28

Monday-Tuesday -- At Gahanna Cage Classic. Brookhaven plays Bexley in the opening round (6 p.m.), with the winner advancing to the championship game Tuesday (7:30 p.m.) against Gahanna or Independence. The consolation game also is Tuesday (6 p.m.).

Jan. 3 -- At Harvest Prep vs. Akron Copley in Braggin' Rights Classic

*Jan. 6 -- At Centennial. Last season, Brookhaven won 87-26 and 67-19.

Of note: The Bearcats are 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the City-North.

*City-North game

BOWLING

*Dec. 9 -- Boys: Lost to Olentangy 2,213-1,571; Girls: Lost to Olentangy 1,701-1,409

*Dec. 12 -- Boys: Lost to DeSales 1,962-1,629

*Dec. 15 -- Boys: Def. Grandview 1,850-1,842; Girls: Def. Grandview 1,451-1,248

*Dec. 17 -- Boys: Lost to Linden 1,912-1,815; Girls: Def. Linden 1,269-1,189

*Dec. 18 -- Boys: Def. Mifflin 1,969-1,545; Girls: Def. Mifflin 1,361-1,244

*Jan. 5 -- Home vs. Westerville South at HP Lanes

*Jan. 7 -- At Sawmill Lanes vs. Watterson

Of note: The boys team is 2-5 overall and in the Central-North and the girls team is 3-3 overall and in the Central-North.

*Central-North contest

WRESTLING

Dec. 13 -- Finished third (176) in home 10-team Casey Fredericks Invitational behind Germantown Valley View (250) and Chillicothe Zane Trace (189). Tien Trihn (130) and Lewis Ford (171) won championships.

Last Saturday -- Competed at West Jefferson

Jan. 7 -- City League tri-meet