Connor Kern and Jae’Sean Tate of the Pickerington High School Central boys basketball team each scored a game-high 20 points, as the 10th-seeded Tigers upset seventh-seeded Dublin Coffman 73-54 in a Division I district semifinal March 6 at Pickerington North.
Pickerington Central, the defending Division I state champions, improved to 18-7 and will play Olentangy Orange in a district final at noon March 9 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum. Coffman finished 19-5.
Despite Coffman shooting 6-for-26 in the first half, the teams were tied at 20 before the Tigers closed the first half on an 8-0 run and opened the second half with a 20-5 spurt. Central hit eight 3-pointers as a team, four from Kern and three from senior guard Kyran Boyd, who finished with 15 points.
“They spread us a little bit with their motion against our man defense, so we packed it in and we were very fortunate they missed some shots,” Tigers coach Jerry Francis said. “We got in foul trouble early (Tate had three fouls in the first half) so we had to make that adjustment. They spread us so we had to go back to a zone defense to salvage him. I didn’t want to take him out. He and Connor had a boatload of points there to help us open the lead.”
Senior forwards Jason Hall and Kevin Marsh each scored 16 points to pace the Shamrocks.