In just about every sport, teams have ups and downs.

In just about every sport, teams have ups and downs.

How the Reynoldsburg High School girls basketball team handles a down it experienced last Friday is one of the keys to the last couple of weeks of the regular season.

The Raiders lost to visiting Grove City 53-44 last Friday, their second loss of the season to the Greyhounds and their third OCC-Ohio Division loss.

They were 5-3 in the league before playing Newark last Tuesday. They will play today at Lancaster, Saturday at Pickerington North and Tuesday at home against Lancaster.

North played Pickerington Central last Tuesday. The Panthers were 8-1 in the OCC-Ohio and the Tigers were 8-2.

Grove City was 6-3 before playing Groveport last Tuesday and still has one more showdown in league play, Feb. 13 at Pickerington Central.

Gahanna was in the mix at 4-4. Newark was 2-7 and Lancaster and Groveport were 1-7 before last Tuesday.

"I told the girls we're probably not going to get a league title," coach Jack Purtell said after the loss to Grove City. "But we can make some noise and be playing our best when we get to the (Division I district tournament)."

"We have to go hard in practice," T'Shera Lucas said. "We have to play and practice hard."

Saturday's game at Pickerington North might be the toughest game of the year for the Raiders. North won 46-44 on Dec. 20. Brittney Callahan led all scorers with 17 points, including two free throws for the winning points.

The Panthers have been on a roll lately. They defeated Grove City 64-37 on Jan. 17, six days before the Greyhounds beat the Raiders by nine. North also beat Groveport 65-26 January 22.

Purtell was disappointed with the loss to Grove City, but still thought his team would respond.

"I think the kids will come back like the champs they are," he said.

Grove City, which won the first meeting 46-42 on Dec. 9, outscored the Raiders 16-4 in the last six minutes of the rematch. Chelsie Damron made five 3-pointers for Grove City, including two in a 30-second span late in the third quarter. Damron finished with 19 points.

Shicole Watts also scored 19 points, including 15 in the second half.

Lucas had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Raiders.

Lucas made a baseline jumper and the Raiders led 33-28 with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter when the game turned. Watts put back a rebound to cut the Reynoldsburg lead to 33-30 with one minute remaining.

Then Damron took over.

She made a 3-pointer with 45 seconds remaining in the quarter to tie the game, then after a defensive stop made another 3-pointer from the left baseline and was fouled by Randi Luker. She made the free throw for a four-point play.

"She's not done that for awhile," Grove City coach Dale Corbett said.

"We know she could shoot," Purtell said. "We lost her a couple of times and she knocked them down."

Grove City led 37-33 at the end of the third quarter.

The Raiders fought back with a small run of their own and took a 40-37 lead early in the fourth quarter when Aryelle Covington scored down low with six minutes remaining.

But the Greyhounds ended the game on a 16-4 run, including the last seven points when the Raiders had to foul.

"They were able to expose some of our weaknesses, made us pass and made us shoot from the perimeter," Purtell said. "We didn't pass well and didn't shoot well.

Guards Melanie Marx (1-for-7) and Kenyell Goodson (3-for-11) combined to go 4-for-18 from beyond the 3-point line.

"We've caught them on a couple of nights when they didn't shoot the ball well," Corbett said. "Both teams had chances to put the other away tonight, it was nice to see us play well tonight."

Goodson scored 11 points. Marx had three points and four assists, but turned the ball over five times.

At a glance

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

Jan. 19 -- Defeated Middletown Madison 46-26 in Classic in the Country at Berlin Hiland

*Last Friday -- Lost to Grove City 53-44. Shicole Watts and Chelsie Damron led the Greyhounds with 19 points. T'Shera Lucas scored 23 points for the Raiders.

Last Saturday -- Defeated Toledo Notre Dame 41-40. Lucas made two free throws with six seconds remaining. Kalyn Daniel led the Raiders with 14 points.

*Last Tuesday -- Played Newark

*Today -- At Lancaster. The Gales lost to Pickerington Central 60-52 last Friday to drop to 3-10 overall and 1-7 in the OCC-Ohio.

*Saturday -- At Pickerington North. The Panthers won the first meeting 46-44 Dec. 20. North improved to 8-1 in the OCC-Ohio with a 65-26 win at Groveport on Jan. 17 and faced Central last Tuesday.

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Lancaster.

Of note: The Raiders were 11-3 overall and 5-3 in the OCC-Ohio before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Ohio game