Dublin Jerome High School boys basketball coach Dave Hale had a memorable day on Jan. 21, but it had nothing to do with a basketball game.

Dublin Jerome High School boys basketball coach Dave Hale had a memorable day on Jan. 21, but it had nothing to do with a basketball game.

Hale and his wife, Jamie, welcomed their first child, Emily Grace, at 11:11 p.m. after arriving at Dublin Methodist Hospital at 8 a.m. that day.

"We noticed contractions at 5 a.m. and later took off for the hospital," said Hale, who is in his first season with the Celtics. "The roads were snowy, but I didn't notice them being too bad. It was a long day, but a great day."

Hale missed the Celtics' 69-53 loss to Westerville North in an OCC-Cardinal Division game that night. Varsity assistant Ron Waterwash served as head coach for the game.

"We had an idea Emily was coming, but not this soon," Waterwash said of Hale's daughter, who weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces and was 20 inches. "She wasn't due until (Jan.) 25, so it wasn't totally unexpected."

Cam Wilson had 16 points against North to lead Jerome. Ben Nesdore and Nick Neale scored nine points apiece and Donovan Wilson scored eight.

"We played a very good team in Westerville North, and they had a good night," Waterwash said. "We tried to slow down (North junior forward Matt) Rhodes (who had 22 points) and then someone else would step up for them. They had a good passing game and every time we made a mistake, they made us pay for it."

Waterwash had not served as a head varsity coach since the 1994-95 season when he was the North Union girls coach, but he also coached the Celtics on Jan. 14 against Westerville Central when Hale missed the game because of illness.

The Warhawks rallied for a 67-62 victory after Jerome held a 45-41 advantage after three quarters. Jeremy Grubbs led the Celtics with 14 points, Cam Wilson scored 13 points and Neale scored 10.

"It's been a great honor to try and fill (Hale's) shoes and try to get the most from his guys," Waterwash said. "Coach Mo Ross and myself have been putting our heads together to get the most out of the players. They have been playing hard for us."

Jerome entered the week tied for seventh in the OCC-Cardinal with Marysville at 2-6, behind Westerville South at 8-0, Olentangy Liberty at 6-2, Central and North at 5-3 and Scioto at 3-5, and ahead of Olentangy at 1-7.

Waterwash ran practice on Jan. 22 as Hale spent time with his family.

Hale was expected to coach the Celtics in their game against Liberty on Jan. 25.

"The kids have continued to play hard and they never quit. They haven't quit all year," Waterwash said. "I've coached teams in the past when the kids would start to pack it in at this point in the season and these kids aren't even close to doing that. They are working hard to get better, and hopefully we can finish strong and make some noise in the (Division I district) tournament."

AT A GLANCE

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

BOYS

*Jan. 21 - Lost to Westerville North 69-53

*Jan. 25 - Played Olentangy Liberty

*Jan. 28 - At Westerville South

*Feb. 4 - Home vs. Olentangy

Of note: The Celtics were 4-9 overall and 2-6 in the OCC-Cardinal before Jan. 25.

GIRLS

*Jan. 21 - Lost to Westerville North 44-38. Lindsay Reiland scored 12 points and Brooke Carrel scored eight.

*Jan. 25 - Played Liberty

*Jan. 28 - Home vs. Westerville South

Jan. 29 - Home vs. Dublin Coffman

Feb. 1 - At Delaware

*Feb. 4 - At Olentangy

Of note: The Celtics were 6-6 overall and 4-5 in the OCC-Cardinal before Jan. 25.

*OCC-Cardinal game