The Upper Arlington High School boys basketball team ended a three-game losing streak with a 60-53 win over Bexley last Saturday, but it remains to be seen if the win represents the start of another winning streak.

The Upper Arlington High School boys basketball team ended a three-game losing streak with a 60-53 win over Bexley last Saturday, but it remains to be seen if the win represents the start of another winning streak.

UA opened with 10 consecutive victories before losing to OCC-Central Division-rival Dublin Coffman 49-44 on Jan. 16, New Albany 52-49 on Jan. 20 and league-rival Thomas Worthington 50-47 last Friday.

"As a whole, as a group, that was our worst effort in terms of the way we approached things," coach Tim Casey said after the loss to Thomas. "I was disappointed with our whole approach. Hey, give (Thomas) credit. They made shots, they made plays. I don't want to take anything away from them at all. But that was the first time I felt like we weren't real cohesive, we weren't real united. We didn't play with that team feeling, that chemistry, that we've had."

UA trailed Thomas by as many as 10 points in the first half and was down 26-18 at halftime. The Bears erased the deficit in the second half, with guard Kevin Sullivan hitting a 3-pointer with 16 seconds left to tie it at 47.

But Thomas guard Nick Girardi made a 3-pointer with one second left.

"You can't lose confidence because you got beat," said Casey, whose team had beaten the Cardinals 69-62 in overtime Dec. 9. "I thought we came out with little or no confidence in the first half. We came back a little bit (in the second half), but we dug ourselves such a big hole and that puts a lot of pressure on you. When you're ahead, the basket seems bigger and your shots start to fall. But when you're down, there's added pressure.

"We're kind of playing a little tight right now instead of being relaxed, playing with confidence and believing in ourselves. We need to get back on track. The guys are starting to make me wonder if we've got it in us. I'm a little disappointed in us, to be honest."

"Guys aren't looking as sure as they usually do," guard Colin Casey said after the loss to Thomas. "Our confidence is definitely down."

The win over Bexley should boost the Bears' confidence. But in order to pull out of the slump completely, Colin Casey believes the Bears must concentrate on defense and getting rebounds.

"I just think we have to play harder," he said. "(During the losing streak) we've been struggling defensively and on the boards, and when you struggle defensively and on the boards then your offense doesn't get going.

"We just have to come out and play like we did the first half of the season."

UA, which fell from second in the Division I state poll Jan. 12 to seventh last week, averaged 46.7 points during its losing streak but scored 64.3 points a game during the victories.

The loss to Thomas dropped UA two games behind Coffman in the OCC-Central.

Before last Tuesday, the Bears were second at 6-2 behind Coffman (8-0) and ahead of Hilliard Davidson (4-3), Thomas (4-5), Hilliard Darby (3-4), Central Crossing (3-5), Westland (3-5) and Kilbourne (1-8).

"I just want to get back on track and take care of us and whatever happens (in the league), happens," coach Casey said. "I've never gotten uptight about the league. Believe me, I don't make light of it. I would love to win a (league) championship, but that's not a big concern for me. Our biggest focus has always been that we play our best basketball at the end of the year and that we get better over the course of the year, and right now is the time that we should be peaking a little bit. I think we're going a little bit in the other direction, so we've got to focus on getting ourselves back on track and build for the end of the year."

At a glance

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

Jan. 20 -- Lost to New Albany 52-49. Akram Hidmi scored 13 points and Brian Sullivan scored 12.

*Last Friday -- Lost to Thomas Worthington 50-47. Kevin Sullivan scored 21 points.

Last Saturday -- Defeated Bexley 60-53. Kevin Sullivan scored 21 points.

*Last Tuesday -- Played Worthington Kilbourne

*Friday -- Home vs. Hilliard Darby. The Bears won 51-44 on Dec. 19.

*Tuesday -- At Central Crossing. The Bears won 81-55 on Dec. 23.

Of note: The Bears were 11-3 overall and 6-2 in the OCC-Central before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Central game