To some coaches in the area, the Dublin Scioto High School girls basketball team has become known as that team with the one-point overtime loss to Delaware.

To some coaches in the area, the Dublin Scioto High School girls basketball team has become known as that team with the one-point overtime loss to Delaware.

That's not such a bad label, considering the Pacers before last Tuesday were 15-0 overall. Last week they were seventh in the Division I state poll and fourth in the area coaches poll.

Asked about respect, coach Todd Hardesty didn't seem to mind flying under the radar at 14-1 overall and 9-0 in the OCC-Cardinal Division entering last Tuesday's game against Westerville South.

The Irish last week were sixth in the coaches poll. Three teams ahead of them -- OCC-Ohio schools Pickerington Central, Reynoldsburg and Pickerington North -- had two or more losses through last Saturday.

"I think most coaches are aware of just how tough the (OCC-Ohio) is and those teams have been beating up on each other so I don't blame them one bit," said Hardesty, whose team travels to Westerville North on Friday. "But our last two losses have been in overtime and that includes the loss to Pickerington Central last year in the tournament."

In a Division I district final last year, Scioto led the Tigers by eight points with about 2 minutes, 30 seconds left before falling 70-62 in overtime. The memory has served as a motivator this season.

"The only thing we can do is keep winning," said Brandi Gorniak, who through 15 games was among the area's top scorers at 17.1 points per game. "I think we're really in tournament mode right now because we have to stay focused this week if we want a good seed."

Unbeaten Dublin Coffman, which was second in last week's state poll, is likely to get the top seed for the Division I district tournament at the draw Sunday. Where Scioto falls in the bracket remains to be seen, but Hardesty hopes to earn one of the top five seeds.

The Irish have been a proven program with 20-plus wins in the last three seasons and three consecutive league titles.

"I think a lot of us look back at that Delaware game and wish we could redo the overtime," Katie Papesh said. "I think we'd love to play them again in the tournament. We've been looking forward to the tournament since it ended last season and we don't want the same ending."

The 61-60 loss to Delaware on Dec. 20 in a way has set the tone for the rest of the season.

Scioto was holding opponents to 41.5 points, but Hardesty also realizes defensive breakdowns have been costly in the last two losses.

"We've made some strides defensively," he said. "Certainly, 40 points is what you're shooting for in terms of defense. But when you score 60 against Delaware and 62 against Pickerington Central, that's more than enough to take care of the job."

In averaging 63 points per game, the Irish have been deadliest from 3-point range where three players, Gorniak, Papesh and Kesi Hess were making nearly 40 percent of their shots.

Hess was averaging 15.8 points and Papesh about 11.

"We know we can't let up in these final games because of what happened last season," Gorniak said.


At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Scioto boys and girls basketball teams:

BOYS

Jan. 20 -- Defeated St. Charles 64-37. Marco St. John scored 20 points.

*Last Friday -- Def. Olentangy 65-64. Bradley McDougald's hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer after Scioto blew a 24-2 lead in the first quarter.

*Last Tuesday -- Played Westerville South

*Friday -- Home vs. Westerville North. Scioto won 52-29 on Dec. 19

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Westerville Central. Scioto won 52-43 on Dec. 23

Of note: The Irish were 12-1 overall and 8-0 in the OCC-Cardinal before last Tuesday.

GIRLS

Jan. 20 -- Def. Upper Arlington 66-47. Brandi Gorniak scored 17 points.

*Last Friday -- Def. Olentangy 71-47. Gorniak had 18 points and Hess scored 14.

*Last Tuesday -- Played Westerville South

*Friday -- At Westerville North. Scioto won 57-37 on Dec. 19

*Tuesday -- At Westerville Central. Scioto won 62-26 on Dec. 23

Of note: The Irish were 14-1 overall and 9-0 in the OCC before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Cardinal game