A day after losing 67-50 at Columbus Academy, the Whitehall-Yearling High School boys basketball team quickly bounced back and had a chance to defeat Buckeye Valley before losing 49-46 on Jan. 5 at Ohio Wesleyan University.
Coach Mike Barcus hopes to see that kind of effort as his team prepares for the second half of the season.
"We were struggling the last couple of games, but that was a good bounce back for us," he said. "We have a tough schedule, but I don't want to make any excuses."
The Rams play Granville on Friday, Jan. 11, at Denison University. They're playing home games at neutral sites because of a renovation project at the high school.
"One thing that we stress is you're going to have adversity throughout your life," Barcus said. "You have to overcome things and you can't make excuses. You just have to deal with them and move on, and they're doing a good job of that."
Whitehall was 5-7 overall and 3-2 in the MSL-Ohio Division before playing Bexley on Jan. 8. The Rams were trying to snap a four-game losing streak.
Demetrius Carr and R.J. Mims each scored 15 points to lead Whitehall against Academy. D.A. Sanders scored 10.
Against Buckeye Valley, the Rams used a 14-0 run to take a 16-7 lead with 5 minutes, 59 seconds left in the second quarter.
The Barons, who got a game-high 35 points from Jordan Tomlinson, tied it at 22 at halftime and never trailed after being down 24-22.
Trailing by six points, Mims hit two free throws and Carr made a 3-pointer to pull the Rams within 47-46 with 58 seconds remaining.
After Caleb Green hit two free throws for the Barons, the Rams committed a turnover on their final possession.
"It was good to bounce back," Carr said. "(The Academy game) was really a letdown, so we wanted to come out and play like a team and play hard because we haven't been playing hard the past couple of games."
Carr finished with 14 points.
"When we play like we're capable of playing, we can beat anybody," Barcus said. "We're just on the edge. We just have to get over that edge."
Wrestlers finish second at Logan Elm
The wrestling team finished second (352 points) behind Amanda-Clearcreek (354) in the eight-team Logan Elm Invitational held Jan. 4 and 5.
The tournament was a dual format, with points awarded for each individual match. The Rams went 6-1 and Amanda-Clearcreek went 7-0.
Whitehall lost to Amanda-Clearcreek 39-33.
"We thought maybe we had a team this year to win it, but came up a little short," coach Steve Pennington said. "We had some big wins. Some kids stepped it up in getting big wins for us and it showed us what we need to work on. ... It was a good tournament."
Heavyweight Alex Farrow went 7-0 and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Other champions were Noah Jay (106 pounds), Ana Abduljelil (113), Ashden Gibson (138) and Isaiah Turner (220).
Whitehall scored 342.5 points to win the 19-team Ready Winter Classic held Dec. 27 and 28 ahead of runner-up Columbus West (161).
Champions were Jay, Abduljelil, Josh Delgadillo at 132, Gibson and Noah Young at 160.
Gibson and Ifa Abduljelil (152) earned their 100th career wins at Logan Elm.
Girls basketball team on losing streak
The girls basketball team enters its league game at Lakewood on Friday, Jan. 11, looking to end a four-game losing streak.
The Rams are 2-10 overall and 2-4 in the MSL-Ohio.
Whitehall's last win was a 41-33 victory over Columbus Academy on Dec. 21.
The Rams' other win came against Lakewood, 59-55 on Dec. 1.
Whitehall lost to Granville 52-39 on Jan. 5 and Bexley 49-29 on Jan. 3.
Against Granville, Mamie Russell scored 11 points and Gayle Poindexter scored 10.
Russell scored 13 points against Bexley.
"We are showing great improvements every day both offensively and defensively," coach Stephanie Jones said.
"Right now I would say our defense is good, but we are very inconsistent on offense. We need more players to become confident and look to score.
"The kids are working hard, playing as a team and are learning a lot from each game. The team looks to be much improved in the second half of the season."