The Dublin Coffman High School girls basketball team has high expectations this season.

The Dublin Coffman High School girls basketball team has high expectations this season.

The Shamrocks have returned six players, including three who played major roles last season in 5-foot-10 senior guard Griffin Tullis, 6-1 junior forward Sade Olatoye and 5-9 junior guard Kamerine Taylor.

Last season, Coffman finished 22-3 overall, went 12-2 in the OCC-Central Division to share the league title with Hilliard Davidson and reached a Division I district final as the fourth seed before losing to third-seeded Olentangy Orange 60-47.

"These girls understand that the bar has been raised," said fifth-year coach Bryan Patton, whose team opened with a 56-48 loss to Toledo Notre Dame in the Gary West Memorial Tip-Off Classic on Nov. 23 at Reynoldsburg. "It's nice to tie for a league championship, but there's nothing like saying it's yours and yours alone. Our goals this year are to compete in our league and give us a chance to win our conference when it comes late January and February and also be ready to make a run in the district tournament."

The Shamrocks, who played Granville on Nov. 25, travel to Upper Arlington on Friday, Nov. 29, before playing host to Hilliard Davidson on Dec. 6 in a pair of league games that Patton said would be early season tests.

"We have a ton of potential," said Taylor, who scored 25 points against Notre Dame. "The nucleus is still here and we're all getting better, so we're real excited for this season. We definitely have big goals in terms of the OCC and far beyond that."

Last season, Taylor averaged a team-high 12.3 points and Olatoye averaged a team-high 14 rebounds and 11.8 points. Both were named first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.

Tullis, who averaged 7.9 points last season and was special mention all-league and honorable mention all-district, missed part of the preseason with a left hip flexor injury and was awaiting a complete diagnosis to determine the extent.

"With those three, they're all very smart, they're all very competitive and they're all winners," Patton said of Olatoye, Taylor and Tullis. "With those three, you have to feel good. That's a good starting point."

Also back are 5-10 junior guard/forward Damonique Patterson, 5-6 junior guard Maddie Andrews and 5-10 junior forward Haleigh Gilliland. Patterson and Andrews missed most of last season with knee injuries.

Rounding out the team are senior Karen Escobar (5-9, guard), juniors Lindsey Axner (5-6, guard), Kendall Mitchell (5-6, guard), Nicole Smiley (5-4, guard) and Morgan Witchey (5-11, guard) and sophomores Katherine Kirschner (6-1, forward) and Christine Szabo (5-9, guard).

"I believe our starting group has a chance to compete with anyone in central Ohio," Patton said. "We have some youth on the back end that we need to develop and, hopefully, through the course of the season, they will be able to give us some good minutes. Our starting five has a lot of experience. It's also a talented group. It's a versatile group."