Coffman falls in district semifinal
The Dublin Coffman High School boys basketball team picked an inopportune time to have an off night shooting.
The Shamrocks were just 18-for-64 from the field (28.1 percent), including 5-for-38 from 3-point range (13.2 percent) in a 73-54 loss to defending state champion Pickerington Central in a Division I district semifinal March 6 at Pickerington North.
The seventh-seeded Shamrocks finished 18-5 overall, while 10th-seeded Central went on to beat 18th-seeded Olentangy Orange 62-55 in a district final March 9 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
The Shamrocks lost despite getting 22 offensive rebounds and committing only five turnovers.
"It was a tough one," coach Jamey Collins said. "We played with great effort. It was our worst shooting outing of the year. We took care of the basketball and we got ourselves shots that we normally like."
Coffman, which never led, was outscored 23-11 in the third quarter to trail 51-31 entering the fourth.
Senior forwards Jason Hall and Kevin Marsh each scored 16 points. Hall had eight offensive rebounds and Marsh had five.
Junior guard Connor Kern and junior forward Jae'Sean Tate each scored 20 points for Central.
"Again, the effort was there. It's tough to be disappointed, but so many missed shots lead to long rebounds and (the Tigers') transition (game)," Collins said. "It was just too much to overcome and they're obviously a talented team. They do deserve all the credit for that."
Coffman defeated 32nd-seeded Dublin Jerome 64-55 in the first round Feb. 23 and 16th-seeded Grove City 48-42 in the second round Feb. 27. Both games were at home.
Hall led the team in scoring (13.5 points per game) and rebounding (7.7 per game). He was first-team all-OCC-Central Division and honorable mention all-district.
Marsh averaged 9.7 points and was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.
Junior guard Nate Axelrod averaged 9.2 points and 3.9 assists. He was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.
Senior guard Tyrel Jackson averaged 8.0 points and was honorable mention all-league, and senior guard Josh Morrow averaged 7.3 points and was special mention all-league.
"It's always tough the last game, especially being a senior," Morrow said.
"We had five seniors this year and it's never easy playing your last game. It's hard to believe that four years can go by that quick. It was a tough situation in the locker room, but it was cool being able to be part of a team with five seniors who all got along really well and had a special relationship."
Other players expected to return are junior Carter Leffler (guard), sophomores Gage Hisey (forward), Shaun Rankin (guard) and C.J. Saunders (guard) and freshmen Seth Fuller (guard) and Luke Vargo (forward).
Coffman finished second (12-2) in the OCC-Central behind Olentangy Liberty (13-1) and ahead of Westland (9-5), Thomas Worthington (8-6), Upper Arlington (8-6), Marysville (4-10), Hilliard Davidson (2-12) and Central Crossing (0-14).
"It was a really good season," Collins said. "We had a few unusual clunker-type games than what we would normally expect, but our guys were really responding well. I was very pleased with them overall."
Collins said the varsity, j.v. and freshman teams went a combined 50-6 during the regular season, leaving him optimistic for the future.