The Brookhaven High School boys basketball team trailed by 18 points at halftime on the way to a 74-58 loss to five-time defending City League-North Division champion Northland on Jan. 10.

The Brookhaven High School boys basketball team trailed by 18 points at halftime on the way to a 74-58 loss to five-time defending City League-North Division champion Northland on Jan. 10.

That result, however, isn't striking fear into Bearcats guard Khalid King or his teammates as they prepare for the rematch on Friday, Feb. 3, at Brookhaven.

The Bearcats were one game behind the Vikings in the City-North title race before Jan. 31.

"We know we shouldn't be scared of them," King said. "We just need to be focused and play our type of basketball, which is real fluent, making the extra pass and having more shots go in. We're all coming together now and are hoping to make a run at the City."

King's play is among the reasons the Bearcats believe the second-round league contest against Northland could be different.

A 6-foot-2 senior who signed with North Carolina A&T last November, King had 19 points in the first meeting with the Vikings, who are first in the Division I state poll. Over the next five games, he averaged 20.2 points, including making two 3-pointers and finishing with 27 points in a 61-58 win over Columbus East on Jan. 17.

Brookhaven finished with an 11-11 overall record last season and hasn't gotten past the second round of the district tournament since 2008.

In addition to King, juniors Randal Clarkson and Kevin Greenhow have led the way for the Bearcats, who are second in the Division II area coaches poll. Through 13 games, Clarkson and Greenhow were averaging 14 and 13 points, respectively.

Brookhaven, which previously competed in Division I, also plays Centennial - sixth in the Division II area coaches poll - on Tuesday, Feb. 7, before closing the league schedule Feb. 10 against East. The district tournament drawing is Feb. 12.

King, who averaged 14 points last season, began his prep career at Harvest Prep and helped the Warriors earn a Division IV regional runner-up finish before transferring to Brookhaven as a sophomore.

He is hoping to lead the Bearcats deep into the postseason before heading off to a college that's about eight hours from Columbus.

"People know their roles a little better than last year, and more people want to win more," King said. "(Clarkson and I) have been together for a few years and we've got good chemistry playing with each other in the backcourt. Playing AAU has helped me with my scoring a lot. I'm definitely more of a combo guard who can shoot it or go to the rack.

"We're trying to make a run to state this year. Anything is possible."

•Anthony Alexander has made an immediate impact in his first season with the Northland wrestling team.

A junior who transferred from Dublin Coffman during the offseason, Alexander was the Most Valuable Wrestler and took first at 138 pounds in the 37th annual Grandview Bobcat Invitational on Jan. 20 and 21.

"He's (27-1), and that doesn't happen by accident," coach Toby Hawk said. "He's wrestling well. He's not wrestling as well as he could be, which says a lot about his potential. He needs some work on top and his conditioning has to improve and we need to get him shooting better, but he loves to throw."

Alexander was sixth in a Division I sectional tournament and went 17-6 overall at 119 as a freshman at Coffman. Last season, he went 13-8 and made fourth-team all-OCC-Central Division but didn't compete in the postseason.

The City League tournament is Feb. 11 at Centennial. The Division I sectional tournaments are Feb. 18.

The last time the Vikings had a district qualifier was in 2006.

"Basically, we're just trying to keep his head on," Hawk said. "He loves to win and he's a fighter. He needs to stay humble. He's definitely the real deal and the sky's the limit for him. The key for him is making good decisions off the mat. He's a junior, so that's exciting, too."

Also having a successful season, according to Hawk, is senior Donovan Patrick at 220.

•The Beechcroft swimming and diving teams will be among those competing in the City meet Saturday, Feb. 4, at Columbus Aquatics Center.

According to coach Dan Zedeker, seniors David Beyene and Joseph Pleasant have been the top swimmers for the boys team and junior Charlotte Wolff and sophomore Jane'a Walburg have been among the leaders for the girls. Freshman Christine Wolff also has been contributing, Zedeker said.

"This year I took a different attitude into (the season) because I wanted the kids to get a feel for it," Zedeker said. "It's been going great. I've had kids tough it out that I didn't think would. We've got one girl who's not swimming in meets yet, but when she started she had to wear a life jacket because she was so new to it. That's what makes this worth it to me.

"It's an individual sport, but they push each other and care for each other and the captains (Beyene and Pleasant) are really stepping up."

Zedeker, who also has coached soccer and tennis at Beechcroft, recently was named the softball coach at Northland. He had been an assistant softball coach at Beechcroft the past 15 years.

•The Northland girls basketball team entered its game Jan. 31 at Linden-McKinley on pace to win its third City-North title in four seasons. The Vikings, who close the league schedule Friday, Feb. 3, against visiting Brookhaven, would play for the City championship Feb. 11 at Columbus South if they win the City-North.

Northland was fourth in both the Division I area coaches poll and the ThisWeek Super 7 poll last week.