The Whitehall-Yearling High School girls basketball team enters the latter stages of the regular season playing at a high level in a key component of the game.

Coach Darrin Green liked the defensive effort the Rams showed in their last three games before playing Central Crossing on Jan. 29. Whitehall entered the game 9-7 overall.

"Our last three games have definitely been a push in the right direction as far as the team feel and the vibe," Green said before playing the Comets. "Our defense has been better. It's been an up-and-down roller-coaster ride, but our last three games we're hitting a good stride as far as playing together and knowing what our expectations are and trying to carry them out."

Green calls junior Kiara Bagley his most consistent player, but others have played valuable roles. He said sophomore Jewel Watkins, a transfer from Gahanna Christian, has steadily improved.

Whitehall is in contention for the MSL-Ohio Division title, as it is 3-2 heading into its game Thursday, Jan. 31, at Grandview. Bexley is first at 5-1 and Worthington Christian is 4-1.

The Rams play host to Worthington Christian on Saturday, Feb. 2, looking to avenge a 43-32 loss to the Warriors on Dec. 21.

Whitehall split its two contents with Bexley, winning 42-37 on Dec. 1 and losing 40-31 in overtime Jan. 11.

Bexley and Worthington Christian meet for the second time Feb. 8. The Lions won the first meeting 40-37 in overtime Jan. 5.

The Rams saw their three-game winning streak end with a 52-42 loss to visiting Jonathan Alder on Jan. 25. Watkins led Whitehall with 13 points.

Bagley scored 15 points in a 37-27 win over visiting West Jefferson on Jan. 22.

The Rams also had strong defensive efforts in recent wins over Groveport (38-36 on Jan. 15) and Heath (48-30 on Jan. 17).

"We're 9-7 (before Jan. 29) and our goal is to at least have a winning season and we're going in the right direction," said Green, whose team finished 1-22 last year in his first season. "I knew once the school year started and we knew what type of kids we had in here, I knew we had a chance at a winning season."

Gymnast continues strong season

Junior gymnast Rebekah Revadelo, who trains and competes with Westerville Central, again is enjoying a solid season.

"Things are going well and it's getting better," Revadelo said. "(Balance) beam is my favorite and it's been getting better since the beginning of the season, so I'm pretty happy about that."

Revadelo tied for sixth on beam (8.6) in a meet Jan. 23 at Worthington Kilbourne.

She tied for fourth on beam (8.6) in the Westerville Central Invitational on Jan. 25 at Worthington Youth Boosters Gymnastics. She also tied for 10th on vault (8.0) and finished 11th on uneven bars (7.9) and in the all-around (32.0).

"She has to put all four events together and that will help her all-around," Central coach Shea Stammen said. "She's been in the 31s, so she'll get in the 32s and 33s if she can hit all four. ... We think of her as part of the team. The girls include her in things and they're friends."

Boys basketball team edged by Columbus Academy

The boys basketball team fell to visiting Columbus Academy 42-40 on Jan. 23 in a game that had been postponed Jan. 12 because of bad weather.

Royal Sibley led the Rams with 12 points.

Kei'Von Wiggins scored 15 points and Roshean Bagley added 13 in a 67-56 loss at St. Charles on Jan. 22.

Whitehall was 7-7 overall before playing Reynoldsburg on Jan. 29. They are 3-2 in the MSL-Ohio and tied for first with Academy, one-half game ahead of Grandview and Worthington Christian (both 3-3).

Wrestlers finish 15th at Pleasant

The wrestling team finished 15th (38 points) of 23 teams in the Sally George Invitational on Jan. 25 and 26 at Marion Pleasant behind champion London (226.5).

Raashad Strickland finished fourth at 120 pounds to lead the Rams. Mike Dawkins was fifth at 132 and Alex Rodriguez was sixth at 138.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the Whitehall-Yearling boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Feb. 1 -- Home vs. Grandview. The Rams lost to the Bobcats 60-52 on Dec. 22.

Feb. 2 -- At Eastmoor Academy

Feb. 4 -- At Gahanna in makeup from Jan. 19

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Jan. 31 -- At Grandview. The Rams defeated the Bobcats 51-44 on Dec. 15.

*Feb. 2 -- Home vs. Worthington Christian. The Rams lost to the Warriors 43-32 on Dec. 21.

Feb. 5 -- Home vs. Dayton Dunbar

BOWLING

*Feb. 4 -- Gahanna at Holiday Lanes

WRESTLING

Feb. 2 -- Sixth-seeded Westerville South in Division I team dual tournament at Marysville. Winner faces third-seeded Upper Arlington or 14th-seeded Mifflin in quarterfinal later that day. The semifinals and final also will be Feb. 2. The Rams are seeded 11th in Region 5.

*League contest