The Reynoldsburg High School boys basketball team was handed its biggest defeat through 13 games on Dec. 15 when it fell 68-40 at Westerville South in a non-league contest.

The Reynoldsburg High School boys basketball team was handed its biggest defeat through 13 games on Dec. 15 when it fell 68-40 at Westerville South in a non-league contest.

That occurred despite the Raiders' holding a major advantage in height, as the Wildcats don't have a player on their roster listed taller than 6-foot-2.

Of course, a major factor in that setback was that the Raiders did not have their leading scorer, senior Kevin Gray, who was out with flu-like symptoms.

That game, however, isn't the only time a smaller opponent has gotten the better of Reynoldsburg.

The Raiders couldn't take advantage of a slight height advantage in a 68-49 loss Jan. 8 to visiting Gahanna, although they're not alone in that matter -- the Lions were 13-0 overall and first at 8-0 in the OCC-Ohio Division before playing Lancaster last Tuesday.

Of more concern for Reynoldsburg might be what occurred last Friday in an 82-72 loss to Grove City.

Again facing a situation where they were going against a shorter opponent, the Raiders couldn't find an answer in the fourth quarter as the Greyhounds outscored them 24-11 to rally from a 61-58 deficit.

Particularly disconcerting to coach Chris Rider is his team gave up 11 3-pointers after allowing Grove City to make 10 in the Raiders' 76-74 overtime victory in the first round of league play Dec. 8.

"I just think that they're a little smaller than us, and it was hard for our posts to play against them," Rider said. "We didn't do a good job of defending them. We gave up 11 3s against them, and you can't do that against a good team."

Gray, who was averaging a team-best 20.1 points before the Raiders played Newark last Tuesday, had a season-high 28 points, including four 3-pointers, last Friday.

The Greyhounds held senior Branden Rushton to a season-low two points -- well below his average of 17 -- and junior forward Trey Warr scored just five points and fouled out with 4 minutes, 52 seconds remaining.

One of the biggest positives in the defeat was the play of senior guards Brandon Mitchell and Jaleel Washington, who scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Heath Jones had 22 points and Kyler Ferguson added 19 for Grove City, was 7-4 overall and 4-4 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Groveport last Tuesday.

"I don't think it was anything we haven't seen, but they were just able to stay mentally focused at the end and we had a lack of focus at the end," Mitchell said. "When Trey fouled out, that hurt us at the end. We did a good job of containing Ferguson, but some of their other guys stepped up."

The Raiders will have an opportunity to avenge one of their league losses Friday when they travel to Pickerington North, which won the first-round contest 62-56 on Dec. 18.

Gray had 24 points, including three 3-pointers, and Rushton scored 20, but only three other players scored.

Junior Trent Waybright, a 6-3 guard, scored 16 points, including three 3-pointers, to lead North. Michael Klamo, a 6-5 post player, and Justin Zielinski, a 6-6 post player, added 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Zielinski will not be available for the rematch, though, as he is sidelined with a broken wrist.

Reynoldsburg plays host to Lancaster on Tuesday in a league contest. The Raiders defeated the Golden Gales 60-49 on Dec. 22, getting 22 points from Gray, 15 from Rushton and 12 from Warr.

"I don't think it's the physical aspect that hurt us," Mitchell said. "We need to work on being mentally focused. The OCC-Ohio is the toughest division, I feel, in at least central Ohio. You can always expect somebody to play hard against you, especially in this division."

At a glance

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

*Last Friday -- Lost to Grove City 82-72. Kevin Gray scored 28 points, Brandon Mitchell scored 12 and Jaleel Washington scored a season-high 11. *Last Tuesday -- Played Newark *Friday -- At Pickerington North. Reynoldsburg lost 62-56 on Dec. 18. *Tuesday -- Home vs. Lancaster. Reynoldsburg won 60-49 on Dec. 22.

Of note: The Raiders were 8-5 overall and 5-3 in the OCC-Ohio before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Ohio game