If the Dublin Coffman High School girls basketball team goes on to capture the OCC-Central Division championship this season, it will be the result of contributions from every player on its roster.

If the Dublin Coffman High School girls basketball team goes on to capture the OCC-Central Division championship this season, it will be the result of contributions from every player on its roster.

The Shamrocks defeated Central Crossing 40-34 on Jan. 20 to break a first-place tie in the OCC-Central with the Comets. Twelve Coffman players saw action in the first half - and it wasn't a move of desperation.

"We knew going in that we wanted to get everyone in," coach Bryan Patton said. "We want everyone to have big-game experience. All of our girls are good players and good people and we want to reward them.

"Our bench does a good job. (Against Central Crossing), they stayed mentally in there and played good defense."

Defense has put Coffman in first place in the league with less than three weeks to play in the regular season.

Two weeks ago, the Shamrocks were tied atop the OCC-Central with Central Crossing and Upper Arlington.

On Jan. 13, Coffman beat the Golden Bears 54-43 when it held UA to two points in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter.

The Shamrocks' defense was even better in the fourth quarter against Central Crossing as Coffman didn't allow a field goal in the final eight minutes, outscoring the Comets 12-2 in the quarter.

"We're just a great fourth-quarter team," said senior forward McKenzie Bailey, who had 10 points and eight rebounds against the Comets.

"I don't know what happens to us, but we always step up. They say good teams are smart teams."

Good teams usually are deep, and that certainly applies to Coffman. The Shamrocks did not have a player averaging in double figures through 14 games, but seven players had led the team in scoring in a game and eight had scored 10 points or more in at least one contest.

"We're definitely a 13-player team," said Bailey, who was averaging a team-high 9.5 points through 14 games.

"We have mini-games at practice that are starters vs. non-starters," said sophomore point guard Samantha Edwards, who comes off the bench. "We've been tied three times in a row."

Freshman guard Kamerine Taylor had the big play against Central Crossing. With the game tied at 32, she grabbed a rebound and drove the length of the court for a layup. She was fouled on the play and made the free throw to put the Shamrocks ahead 35-32 with 2 minutes, 17 seconds remaining.

Taylor, who was averaging nine points and was among the central Ohio leaders last week in free-throw percentage (74), had seven points against the Comets to go with six rebounds and four steals.

"It could have been anyone making that play," she said. "I happened to make that one."

The key plays may add up to a league title and a postseason run. Coffman has finished second in the OCC-Central to UA the last two seasons but won four consecutive league championships from 2006-09.

The Shamrocks reached a Division I district semifinal last season before losing to second-seeded Northland 58-46. Coffman reached a regional final in 2008 and 2009.

"We didn't want to lose our first game (of the season to Central Crossing, 43-40 on Dec. 6)," said freshman center Sade Olatoye, who ranked among the area's rebounding leaders last week, averaging 8.4 through 12 games.

"But we've come back and now we've won nine games in a row. People are going to start noticing us."

Patton doesn't mind if his team is not being noticed just yet.

"We're just happy to be part of the discussion," he said.