The shot the Reynoldsburg High School boys basketball team had at winning the OCC-Ohio Division championship nearly was mathematically out of reach by the time it played Gahanna on Jan. 28.

The shot the Reynoldsburg High School boys basketball team had at winning the OCC-Ohio Division championship nearly was mathematically out of reach by the time it played Gahanna on Jan. 28.

The Raiders entered the game 7-9 overall and 4-5 in the league, so their hope of ending the regular season .500 or better also was in jeopardy.

Both factors mean Reynoldsburg isn't expecting anything but a middle-of-the-pack seed in the 41-team Division I district tournament draw Feb. 9.

None of that, however, has brought despair to a team that had lost six of eight before playing Gahanna, according to senior guard Tyrek Pugh.

"With our team we've had some tough losses, but every day we bounce back," he said. "None of our guys' heads are down. We believe we can compete with anybody."

Backing that assertion is coach Scott Davis, whose team snapped a three-game skid with a 70-63 win over New Albany on Jan. 21. Senior guard Travis Gleason had 20 points and junior guard Lloyd Chatman added 15 as the Raiders outscored the Eagles 46-28 during the middle quarters.

On Jan. 24, Reynoldsburg trailed Pickerington Central by five points entering the final quarter but was outscored 22-14 in the fourth and lost 68-55. Chatman and senior forward Josh McCoy both scored nine points.

Reynoldsburg also lost to the Tigers 69-66 on Dec. 13, one of its six losses by six points or fewer before Jan. 28.

According to Davis, a consistently strong defensive effort has kept the Raiders in most of their close losses.

"We work on (defense) and hold our kids accountable," Davis said. "We're for the most part man-to-man. We're also very small and we've had some difficult times rebounding here and there, so we want to make sure everybody is accounted for."

In addition, Davis believes Pugh and Gleason have attempted to lead a roster that entered the season with little returning experience.

"Our kids care about losing, but they've come to practice wanting to work hard," Davis said. "They're a group of guys that really like each other. It may pay off next week or the week after, but it will pay off.

"Chances are that we're not going to get a great seed, but we had the lead on Pickerington Central (during the 69-66 loss), Newark (in a 69-63 loss Jan. 8), Marion-Franklin (in a 67-66 loss Dec. 27) and we had the lead on Dublin Coffman (in a 46-44 loss Jan. 18). We are right there and these are some of the best teams around."

Girls team lookingfor consistency

Before playing Gahanna on Jan. 28, the girls basketball team found itself in a situation it hadn't faced in several years: In a losing streak.

The Raiders lost to Millersburg West Holmes 44-40 on Jan. 20 in the Classic in the Country at Berlin Hiland and followed with a 61-57 overtime loss to Pickerington Central on Jan. 24.

The loss to the Tigers snapped a 54-game league winning streak and marked the first time since the 2007-08 season that Reynoldsburg had lost back-to-back games.

"We've been a little inconsistent recently," coach Jack Purtell said.

Entering the week, Reynoldsburg was 15-3 overall and 9-1 in the OCC-Ohio. Newark (7-2), Pickerington Central (7-3), Gahanna (6-4) and Pickerington North (6-4) followed in the standings.

Senior forward Nicole Orr has been battling an ankle injury. She didn't play in wins over Groveport (90-18 on Jan. 10) and Olentangy Orange (62-21 on Jan. 13) and played sparingly in a 43-27 win over Grove City on Jan. 17.

Against Central, senior post player Alyssa Rice scored 27 points and senior guard De'Shay Thomas had 13, but Orr was held to five.

Girls swimmers place2nd in league meet

The girls swimming and diving team earned a runner-up finish in the OCC-Ohio meet Jan. 25 at Thomas Worthington.

The Raiders scored 222 points to place behind Gahanna (354.5) while Pickerington North (221), Lancaster (157.5), Pickerington Central (135) and Grove City (85) followed.

Morgan McCafferty won the 100-yard backstroke (59.35 seconds) and the 200 individual medley (2:09.67), and Acadia Gaver won the 500 freestyle (5:34.63). Leah Svoboda was second in the 100 free (59.17) and third in the 100 butterfly (1:05.5), and the Raiders were runners-up in the 400 free relay (3:53.28).

Reynoldsburg next competes Feb. 8 in a Division I sectional at Upper Arlington.

"The girls team has been progressing well to this point," coach Brian Kocher said. "Everyone is starting to drop time in their events and reaping the rewards of our very difficult holiday training period."

The boys were sixth (27) in the league meet behind North (330), Grove City (232), Lancaster (211), Gahanna (209) and Central (132).

The Raiders were fifth in the 200 medley relay (2:11.11), and Christian Morgan took eighth in 100 breaststroke (1:15.27) and 11th in the 100 free (59.1).

"The boys team has been having a little more difficulty dealing with injuries and illness," Kocher said. "Senior D.J. Jenkins is out for the season with a knee injury. Devin Wooddell has been nursing a back injury and illness. Christian Morgan has been swimming very well lately and is continuing to work hard in practice and dropping time in every meet."