The Dublin Jerome High School girls basketball team kept its composure while playing a team-oriented game that led to three consecutive victories.
The Celtics earned their third win in a row by defeating Hilliard Darby 48-40 on Dec. 14 to improve to 4-2 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Cardinal Division.
"We're playing smarter with the basketball and getting more people involved," coach Rob Dunsmore said. "(Opponents) can't just worry about one or two people against us. We don't have just one go-to person, so we need a balanced attack. We have to distribute the ball and hit the open person."
Sarah Auker leads Jerome in scoring by averaging 8.7 points, followed by Madison Watson at 8.4. Hannah Gibbs and Katherine McCoy both are averaging 7.8 points, and Madison Colvin is averaging 5.4 points. Christy Chou is averaging 3.8 points, but she led the Celtics against Darby with 11 points.
"Christy got some looks down the court and Amanda Kessler hit her for three easy layups," Dunsmore said. "If we move the basketball to the open person, we can take shots and see what happens. On any given night, anyone can finish with 12 or 15 points."
The Celtics play a league game at Dublin Scioto on Friday, Dec. 21. The Irish are 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Cardinal. Last season, Scioto swept the series, winning 47-42 and 37-34.
"We have had six games, and only two have been home games," Dunsmore said. "We'll play Scioto on the road and then play against Watterson and Centennial in the Watterson (Christmas Classic on Dec. 28 and 29). Both are two really good teams and we'll have to play our best."
Boys can't let down on defense
The boys team dropped to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in OCC-Cardinal play by losing to Darby 54-51 on Dec. 14.
"We like our team a lot and the kids play really well together," coach Dave Hale said. "A lot of the time, we have played really solid defensively, but we gave up too many points (22) in the first quarter against Darby and we also had our first poor shooting night."
Kyle Christman led the Celtics with 16 points and Mason Baich added 10.
Christman leads Jerome in scoring, averaging 16.2 points with nine 3-pointers. Connor Kerns is averaging 10 points and has made eight 3s, and Baich is averaging 9.4 points. Matt Holden has made 10 3s and is averaging 7.2 points, and Austin Sherman is adding 6.6 points per game.
"We really don't have one guy who has to get his points," Hale said. "We have been moving the ball around, working to find the guy who is open and then we have done a good job of finishing."
Baich is a freshman guard learning the ropes of varsity basketball. Another freshman, Seve Stavroff, is averaging 5.2 points.
"I think Mason Baich has done a good job as a freshman of coming in and giving us significant minutes, and being a great spark off of the bench," Hale said. "You never know what a freshman will be able to do because it's a big jump from playing eighth-grade to varsity competition. But he has been very athletic and has made some good plays.
The Celtics play at home against Scioto in a league contest Friday, Dec. 21. The Irish are 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Cardinal. The teams split last season, with Scioto winning 61-42 and Jerome winning 45-34 in the second game.
"Right now, it's just a matter of us not getting off to a slow start," Hale said. "Giving up 22 points in a quarter is something we don't want to do as a team. We want to give up 12 points, at most. We gave up those 22 points in the first quarter and (Darby) only scored 54, so we did well after that."