To have the kind of finish to the season that it's looking for, the Reynoldsburg High School boys basketball team knows it will need senior post player Reggie Walls and junior guard Kevin Gray to continue performing as they have throughout most of the season.

To have the kind of finish to the season that it's looking for, the Reynoldsburg High School boys basketball team knows it will need senior post player Reggie Walls and junior guard Kevin Gray to continue performing as they have throughout most of the season.

In most games, the Raiders also have gotten key a contribution from senior forward Vaughn Spaulding or junior guard Brandon Rushton, or both.

While Rushton has provided a spark from the outside with17 3-pointers, the 6-foot-2 Spaulding has helped relieve pressure off Walls down low.

Spaulding, who dressed varsity last year but had just 25 points, was averaging 10.6 points before the Raiders played Newark last Tuesday.

Many of his baskets have come off putbacks.

"He's one of the best offensive rebounders in the OCC," Rider said. "He's real athletic for a 6-foot-1 kid and he's got a real knack for the basket. He has hit some 3s, too. We've got to have him and Rushton contributing if we're going to finish this season up right. Teams know Kevin and Reggie, so Brandon and Vaughn are going to have to knock shots down."

Spaulding scored in double figures in eight of Reynoldsburg's first 13 games, with his best performance coming Dec. 6 when he scored 17 in a 74-63 win over Westland.

Last Friday in an 82-67 loss to Grove City, Gray scored 26 and Walls had 21 but Spaulding was held to nine points and Rushton to seven.

"We can only rely on Kevin and Reggie so much," Spaulding said. "If teams are double-teaming both of them, (Brandon and I) have to recognize that and step up."

The Raiders trailed Grove City by just four early in the third quarter and 62-54 heading into the final period before foul trouble got the better ofGray, Spaulding and Walls down the stretch.

Reynoldsburg also lost to the Greyhounds 85-65 on Dec. 9.

"The first game against them was the inexperience part on our end," Rider said. "In this game we had five starters who ended up with 22 fouls. We didn't adjust to the officiating and were in foul trouble the whole night. If you look at the box score, it says we got beat by 15, but they know they played pretty well. Reggie was taking it to the hole against (Grove City's Jon) Smith all night."

•LEAGUE RACE UPDATE -- The loss to the Greyhounds dropped Reynoldsburg to 5-3 in the OCC-Ohio Division, two full games behind Grove City (7-1) and two games in the loss column behind Newark (6-1).

Needless to say, the Raiders' game last Tuesday against visiting Newark was a must-win in terms of their conference title hopes.

Reynoldsburg plays host to Pickerington North on Friday and travels to Lancaster on Tuesday.

The loss to Grove City snapped an eight-game winning streak and was the Raiders' first loss since they fell to Newark 70-60 on Dec. 12.

"It's just frustrating when you have everything in your hands," Rider said. "Grove City is a pretty good team and this group has got a chance to win 15 games. Basically it's a four-team race with Newark, Grove City, Reynoldsburg and Gahanna.

"Pickerington North is always a rivalry. Eric Brindle is having a heck of a year and has really played well lately. Lancaster has got to be pretty mad at us for how we beat them before (73-34 on Jan. 13)."

•MENDING -- Junior Josh Montgomery, a 6-foot-2 forward who has scored eight points on the season, is expected to be back within the next week after having an undisclosed surgery.

At a glance

Below are recent results and the coming schedule for the Reynoldsburg boys basketball team:

*Last Friday -- Lost to Grove City 82-67. Kevin Gray had a season-high 26 points and Reggie Walls added 21, but the Greyhounds received 22 from Jon Smith and outscored the Raiders 20-13 in the fourth quarter.

*Last Tuesday -- Played Newark

*Friday -- Home vs. Pickerington North. Reynoldsburg beat the Panthers 58-53 on Dec. 19 as Gray scored all of his team-high 21 points in the second half.

*Tuesday -- At Lancaster. Reynoldsburg defeated the Gales 73-34 on Jan. 13.

Of note: The Raiders were 9-4 overall and 5-3 in the OCC-Ohio before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Ohio game