Dublin Coffman High School boys basketball coach Jamey Collins realizes his team's perfect start will be tested as 2013 comes to a close and 2014 begins.
The Shamrocks improved to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the OCC-Central Division with a pair of convincing wins last week.
Coffman defeated host Thomas Worthington 64-41 on Dec. 17 and visiting Central Crossing 71-50 on Dec. 20.
The Shamrocks next play Warrensville Heights on Saturday, Dec. 28, in a Play 4 Cancer Shootout game at Massillon Jackson.
"That's going to be a great challenge for us," Collins said. "It's a real good experience for our guys. Those things are fun. They love them. They always remember them, too. It's good competition."
Warrensville Heights moved from Division II to Division III this season. Its key players include seniors Jalen Jackson (6-foot, guard) and Charles Franklin (6-5, wing player) and juniors Jahmere Howze (6-6, post player) and Trevon McGhee (6-2, guard).
Warrensville Heights improved to 3-1 by defeating Euclid 70-43 on Dec. 20. Franklin led the Tigers with 20 points.
Coffman returns to league play Jan. 3 when it visits Westland before playing host to Olentangy Liberty on Jan. 7. Liberty is 4-1 overall and 4-0 in the league.
Coffman played Central Crossing without sophomore guard Seth Fuller, who was out with a foot injury.
Collins said Fuller was scheduled to see a doctor Dec. 23.
"Without Seth playing, everyone's role changed a little bit," Collins said. "You could tell the comfort level with the offense, it took a little while for guys to feel comfortable in a new role because Seth has been such a big part of our offense."
Gage Hisey came off the bench to lead the Shamrocks with 16 points, with 15 coming in the first half. Luke Vargo had 15 and Noah Gleason added 11.
Against Thomas, Nate Axelrod scored 14 and Vargo had 11.
"We're challenging ourselves to always get better and not worry about the competition," junior guard C.J. Saunders said. "We have a lot of places we can go this season, so every practice we're pushing each other because we want to be good."
Jerome wins third in a row
Since losing its opener to Upper Arlington 57-38 on Dec. 7, Jerome has won three consecutive games, with its latest victory coming at Scioto 43-26 on Dec. 20.
The Celtics outscored the Irish 30-13 in the second half.
"It was the first road game for us and we're a real young team, and when you throw on top of that the rivalry factor, it wasn't pretty. But we were definitely happy to get out of there with the win," coach Jamie Pearson said.
Colton Irion led Jerome with 11 points and Seve Stavroff scored 10, as the Celtics improved to 2-0 in the OCC-Cardinal.
"I'm happy with how the kids played," Pearson said. "We ask our guys to play hard and we did, and we were able to get the better of them."
The Celtics will visit Franklin Heights on Saturday, Dec. 28. The Falcons are 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Capital.
"I know they're doing real well and it will be all we can do to be able to go there on the road again and try to compete with them," Pearson said.
Scioto loses to Jerome, Kilbourne
Scioto was 1-5 overall and 0-3 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Westerville South on Dec. 23.
Scott Berg scored eight points in the loss to Jerome.
In a 50-29 loss Dec. 21 against Worthington Kilbourne, the Irish never led and trailed 28-16 at halftime.
Elyjah Nelson scored seven points and the Irish went 8-for-42 from the field.
"The guys are playing hard, we're just not making shots," coach Mike Moler said. "It's hard to win games when you can't score 30 points. Guys are doing what they're told. They just have to make plays. You have to keep at it, you have to keep fighting."