The Bexley High School boys basketball team was dominating through five games. Not only were the Lions undefeated, but their average margin of victory was 20 points and they were averaging 67.6 points.

The Bexley High School boys basketball team was dominating through five games. Not only were the Lions undefeated, but their average margin of victory was 20 points and they were averaging 67.6 points.

The trick is to keep it going. The Lions, who played Granville last Tuesday, have only one game -- Tuesday at home against Circleville -- in the next 14 days.

Coach Dave Gustin said the key to staying sharp is putting in the effort in practice.

"We're going to take three days off, but then we're going to practice and even add to our conditioning," he said. "To be honest, I don't think we're going to lose a step."

Conditioning has helped Bexley so far. The Lions failed to close out several games last season, but this season they are averaging six points more than their opponents in the fourth quarter.

"I feel like we're doing well right now," said forward Reuel Rogers, who scored 27 points in a 74-62 win over Whitehall last Friday, as the Lions improved to 2-0 in the MSL-Ohio Division. "Everyone's playing together and our intensity and hard work is paying off."

Bexley started 5-1 last season but looked like a different team in the second half of the season, losing 12 of its last 15 games, including 67-62 to London in the first round of the Division II district tournament.

Part of the reason was the loss of point guard Seth White, who graduated early to enroll at Ball State.

This season, the Lions are much more balanced offensively.

Forward Matt Asensio was averaging 20.6 points through three games. However, when he was limited to nine points in a 59-28 win over Wellington on Dec. 15, other players stepped up offensively, including guard Elijah Scott with 10 points.

"Offensively, we're doing well," Gustin said. "We're scoring a lot of points in transition. "Matt has really picked up his game, but (guard) Jalen Robinette and Rogers have really elevated their game, and our point guard Elijah Scott has been trying to put it all together."

Though Bexley is doing well offensively, Gustin wants his team to tighten defensively. Prior to last Tuesday, the Lions were allowing an average of 50.4 points, though Gustin estimated that 50-60 percent of his team's points are generated from its defensive play.

"Each game we're starting to get better defensively," he said. "Defense starts as an individual thing, but you have to learn how to be cohesive as a team. You start with your individual skills and then you add it to the team collectively."

The Lions expect to be tested by Circleville even though the Tigers fell to 0-4 with a 63-36 loss to Teays Valley last Friday.

The Tigers are led by 6-foot-1 guard Evan Whitten and 5-10 guard Hunter Young.

Bexley routed Circleville 71-34 last season, but eked out victories the previous two seasons, winning 61-59 in overtime in 2007-08 and 50-49 in 2006-07.

"Circleville's a young team, but I expect them to come after us," Rogers said. "There's no easy wins out there. We have to work hard every single quarter."

"Last year they had a big, nice post (player), but he's gone and they're not very tall this year," Gustin said. "We have to make sure to defend the perimeter and make sure every possession is a positive."