Since taking over the program this past offseason, Dublin Jerome High School boys lacrosse coach Andy Asmo has tried to instill a philosophy that features what he calls being "great at the things that don't take a lot of athletic ability."

That includes putting forth a strong effort every game, which he believes has helped create one of the area's top defenses.

Jerome was 11-2 overall and hadn't given up more than nine goals to an opponent entering its game May 9 at New Albany.

After losing 8-7 to Upper Arlington on April 21, the Celtics allowed the same number of goals in their next three games combined, including when they beat Scioto 12-2 on May 2.

Senior goalkeeper Josh Miller, senior defenseman Matt Arnold and senior midfielders Cade Apple and Matt Sladoje have helped fuel the defense.

"We've really jelled together," Miller said. "This is easily probably the best defense we've had since I've been here. We know each other's tendencies."

The win over Scioto gave the Celtics the OCC-Cardinal Division championship at 6-0.

Jerome is seeded third of 19 teams in the Division I, Region 3 tournament in the first OHSAA-sanctioned postseason, behind UA and Coffman. The Celtics have a first-round bye and will play host to 14th-seeded Hilliard Darby or 15th-seeded Gahanna in the second round Wednesday, May 17.

The winner plays sixth-seeded St. Charles or 11th-seeded Thomas Worthington in a regional quarterfinal May 20.

The Celtics also are competing in the Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association tournament Friday, May 12, and Saturday, May 13, at Hudson Western Reserve Academy.

Other area programs in the 16-team MSLCA are Olentangy, Thomas, Worthington Kilbourne and UA.

Offensively, Asmo has been impressed with the play of senior attacker Hunter Barco, who recently returned from an injury, as well as senior attackers Mitch Canaday and Paxton Stern.

"I love where we are right now," Asmo said. "I think we've learned a lot from our two losses and also from some of our wins. We're healthy. The key is just to work on the little things like ground balls and clearing. Those little things will really make a difference."

Postseason begins
for baseball team

Throughout the regular season, the baseball team showed what coach Chris Huesman called "spurts" of sound all-around play.

"We can't seem to get out of our own way at times," Huesman said. "Once we make good choices off the field and on, and become consistent with those, we will excel to the team we can potentially be."

Jerome was seeded 24th of 46 teams in the Division I district tournament and opened May 8 at home by beating 41st-seeded Licking Heights 5-0 to improve to 15-13 overall.

The Celtics played at 13th-seeded Marysville in the second round May 10, with that winner facing top-seeded Grove City or 30th-seeded Teays Valley in a district semifinal Tuesday, May 16, at a neutral site to be announced.

The district final is May 18 at a neutral site to be announced.

The Celtics, who finished 3-9 in the OCC-Cardinal, closed the regular season by sweeping Bloom-Carroll 10-8 and 7-5 in a doubleheader May 6.

Through 25 games, sophomore first baseman Trent Belli was batting .388, freshman shortstop Nick Lapham was hitting .444 and junior right fielder Rob Cope was hitting .379.

Huesman also lauded the play of senior Collin Hannan (P/C), junior Jacob Johnson (DH) and sophomore Hayden Schell (CF).

Girls lacrosse team
faces Cards for title

The girls lacrosse team will play host to Thomas Worthington on Thursday, May 11, for the OCC-Cardinal championship.

The Celtics were 13-2 overall before playing Pickerington Central on May 9 and are 5-0 in the OCC-Cardinal. The Cardinals are 13-2 and 5-0.

With a 20-3 victory over Gahanna on May 5, Jerome won its 11th game in a row and scored 20 or more goals for the seventh time this season.

Isabella Francati had five goals and Hannah Rashidi and Cameron Finnegan each scored four against Gahanna.

Thomas has won nine games in a row, including a 19-8 victory over Coffman on May 5 behind six goals from Jenna Rao and five from Erin Baumann.

Jerome is seeded third in the Division I, Region 3 tournament and opens Tuesday, May 16, at home against 15th-seeded Kettering Fairmont. The winner plays sixth-seeded Pickerington Central or ninth-seeded Beavercreek in a quarterfinal May 19.

Boys tennis team
set for sectional

Senior Ryan Worthen of the boys tennis team is the top seed for the Division I sectional tournament Thursday, May 11, and Saturday, May 13, at Pickerington Central.

Worthen opens against Pickerington North junior Evan Ross.

Also competing in singles are junior Noah Schneider, who opens against Logan junior Nich Kudlapur, and freshman Anish Patel, who opens against Grove City junior Noah Bungart.

In doubles, juniors Nate Meadors and Pranav Murali are the second seed and senior Michal Lin and sophomore Daniel Utkin are the third seed.

The top four finishers in singles and doubles advance to district May 18 at Hilliard Davidson and May 20 at UA.

Jerome has advanced to play UA in a Division I district semifinal in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association tournament. The winner advances to a district final against New Albany, Coffman or St. Charles. Both matches must be completed by May 19, with the district champion advancing to the state tournament.

Softball team wins
battle of Dublin

Seeded 31st of 45 teams, the softball team upset 19th-seeded DeSales 4-2 in the first round of the Division I district tournament May 8 on the road.

The Celtics improved to 10-13 overall.

Jerome played May 10 at 14th-seeded Darby in a second-round game, with that winner facing fifth-seeded Mount Vernon or 22nd-seeded Olentangy Liberty in a district semifinal Monday, May 15, at a neutral site to be announced. The district final is May 19 or 20 at Pickerington Central.

On May 7, Jerome beat host Coffman 8-4 and defeated Scioto by the same score to capture the Jessica Hirth Memorial Trophy in the Battle for the Cure. Proceeds from the three-team event went to the American Cancer Society.

Hirth, a 2016 Jerome graduate and a former player for the Celtics, died July 14, after a two-and-a-half-year battle with cancer.

Volleyball team preps
for Battle of Dublin

The boys volleyball team will compete in the Battle of Dublin on Friday, May 12, against host Coffman and Scioto.

The Celtics were 10-5 overall and 7-3 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Scioto on May 9. They also play Thursday, May 11, at home against Pickerington Central and Tuesday, May 16, at home against Delaware in their league finale.

Jerome beat Delaware 25-17, 25-8, 25-19 on April 13 and had won three matches in a row before facing Scioto on May 9. The Celtics lost to the Irish 25-11, 25-23, 25-13 on April 18.

Track teams set
for OCC, district meets

The boys and girls track and field teams are competing in the OCC-Cardinal meet Thursday, May 11, and Saturday, May 13, at Coffman.

Both squads then will travel to Darby for the Division I, district 1 meet, which begins with running preliminaries Tuesday, May 16, followed by field events May 18 and running finals May 20.

The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional meet May 24 and 26 at Pickerington North.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek