Girls Basketball

Olatoye leads Coffman to program’s first state tournament appearance

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Sade Olatoye scored 18 points with 16 rebounds and was 12 of 16 on free throws to lead the Dublin Coffman High School girls basketball team to a 39-26 victory over Reynoldsburg in a Division I regional final March 7 at Otterbein.

The Shamrocks (22-6) advance to the program’s first state semifinal and will play fifth-ranked North Canton Hoover at 8 p.m. Friday at Ohio State.  Hoover (24-2) defeated Solon 62-45 in its regional final March 7.

It is the first final four appearance by any Dublin school in either boys or girls basketball, according to Coffman athletics director Tony Pusateri.

“It’s just a special moment for a great group,” Coffman coach Bryan Patton said. “We were finally able to break through and play against the best in the state.”

Reynoldsburg led 23-21 midway through the third quarter, but Coffman’s Kamerine Taylor hit a 3-pointer with 2 minutes, 2 seconds left in the quarter. That began a 12-0 run that helped the Shamrocks build a 33-23 lead with 3:16 left to play.

“When that 3 went down, that was the first time all game that I felt like we were in control,” Patton said. “Then (the Raiders) called timeout and we were able to build from that.”

Taylor scored 10 points with two 3-pointers and Maddie Andrews added four points.

Alyssa Rice led the Raiders with nine points and six rebounds. Nicole Orr added seven points and De’Shay Thomas scored six points.

“For one, we didn’t make any shots; they did a good job,” Reynoldsburg coach Jack Purtell said. “They had two (defenders) on Alyssa most of the time. You shoot 2-for-25 from (3-point range) in a game like this against a good team, you’re not going to win. We lost the boards. We shot six free throws (making two), they shot 20 (making 15). It’s just a recipe for failure.”

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