The Dublin Coffman High School boys basketball team isn't letting itself get down about losing three of four games during a stretch that began in late January.
This is the same team that won its first 11 games and took the district's No. 1 seed, Pickerington North, to the brink before losing 91-88 in overtime Jan. 9.
However, it's also a squad that was held to 14 points in the first half of a 62-54 loss to Olentangy Liberty on Jan. 27 and allowed Julius Brown to score 30 points in a 63-53 loss to Westerville North on Feb. 6.
The Shamrocks' approach could help them avoid other such performances.
"There are no losses, only lessons we've learned," senior forward Nick Carlson said. "We've come closer as a team and (some of) our (recent) practices have been amazing. You learn lessons and move on from them, and that's what's keeping us going."
All of Coffman's biggest goals still lie ahead.
The Shamrocks defeated Central Crossing 66-61 on Feb. 9 and can earn a share of the OCC-Central Division championship with a win Friday, Feb. 16, at Upper Arlington.
Coffman lost to UA 44-41 on Feb. 3 when the Golden Bears' Dane Goodwin made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
The Shamrocks are 16-5 overall and 8-1 in the OCC-Central, while UA is 19-1 overall and already has earned at least a share of the league title at 9-0.
Coffman received the sixth seed for the 48-team Division I district tournament and will play host to 33rd-seeded Hamilton Township in the first round Feb. 24.
The Shamrocks could meet second-seeded UA again in the postseason if both teams advance to a district final.
In the meantime, Coffman is hoping it can recapture two of the biggest positives of its season -- free-throw shooting and 3-point shooting -- in the rematch with UA.
In the earlier contest, the Shamrocks made just five of eight free-throw attempts and Nick Bartemes went 0-for-2 from 3-point range despite entering that game shooting 54 percent from beyond the arc.
On the season, Coffman is shooting about 38 percent from behind the 3-point line.
"The whole idea is to get a little bit better each day in practice," coach Jamey Collins said. "I think our guys have got a pretty good edge to them. I enjoyed the way we competed (in the earlier matchup with UA) and wasn't disappointed in our guys preparation.
"The funny thing is, it can all change overnight. There's no timetable on it. I feel like we turned a nice corner, but you've just got to get better and better going into the tournament."
Large swim contingent advances to district
Members of the boys and girls swimming teams will be competing in the Division I district meet Saturday, Feb. 17, at Ohio University.
In a sectional Feb. 10 at Kenyon College, the girls team scored 274 points to finish first of 10 teams, while the boys team placed second (250) of 11 teams, behind Jerome (270).
For the girls team, Ellie Andrews won both the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 8.18 seconds) and 100 breaststroke (1:04.25) and Hannah Bailey won the 100 butterfly (56.71) and was runner-up in the 100 breast (1:05.0) and Kristyn Sabol placed second in the 200 freestyle (1:57.16) and third in the 100 fly (58.36).
Coffman also swept all three relays. The 200 medley relay (1:48.01) was comprised of Andrews, Bailey, Cameron Das and Marissa Kruse, the 200 free relay (1:39.52) consisted of Bailey, Kruse, Eeshaa Mehta and Sabol and the 400 free relay (3:36.83) was comprised of Andrews, Grace O'Banion, Sabol and Ava Warren.
For the boys team, Eddie Michael captured titles in the 50 free (21.4) and 100 free (46.78) and was on the runner-up 200 free relay along with Owen McQuaid, Will Randall and Andy Shepard (1:28.14) as well as the second-place 400 free relay with Zak Birnbrich, Randall and Shepard (3:11.92).
Brendan Oshida won the 500 free (4:42.83), placed second in the 100 breast (59.82) and joined Birnbrich, McQuaid and Cole Northup on the first-place 200 medley relay (1:38.72).
Earning runner-up finishes were Birnbrich in the 100 fly (51.11) and Ethan Shaw in the 500 free (4:44.49), while Randall was third in the 200 free (1:45.92).
At district, the top two finishers in each swimming event automatically advance to the state meet Feb. 23 and 24 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large state berths will be awarded in each swimming event based on district times statewide.
Sidney Boroff competed in the girls district diving meet Feb. 12 at Dublin Community Recreation Center, finishing 22nd of 33 competitors with a 144.3. The top four finishers qualified for state Feb. 22.
Trinity Williams was expected to compete in the boys district diving meet Feb. 13 at Dublin Community Recreation Center, where the top five finishers advanced to state Feb. 24.
Girls basketball team rolls into postseason
The girls basketball team closed the regular season with a 90-39 victory over Central Crossing on Feb. 9 and cruises into the postseason with a 21-1 overall record and on a 17-game winning streak.
The Shamrocks wrapped up their second consecutive 10-0 finish in the OCC-Central and have won 25 consecutive league games. They defeated their final nine opponents of the regular season by an average of 43.4 points.
Junior guard Jacy Sheldon led central Ohio in scoring during the regular season with a 26.2-point average.
Coffman also has developed a solid offensive option in junior Kaitlyn Kopyar, who averaged 23.2 points during a five-game stretch from Jan. 19 through Feb. 2.
The Shamrocks are seeded second for the 50-team Division I district tournament and will play host to 46th-seeded Groveport in the first round at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17. The winner plays host to 47th-seeded Centennial in the second round Feb. 23.
"From an offensive perspective, we're just making sure we stay sharp with some of our transition principles, how to attack certain defenses," coach Bryan Patton said. "From a defensive perspective, it's just about attention to detail, finishing possessions, reading certain movements, communicating on screens, things of that nature. We want to just continue to play our style, knowing what lies in front of us down the road will be a test."
Hurt wins 3rd OCC title in all-around
Senior Bethany Hurt of the gymnastics team captured her third consecutive league championship in the all-around in the OCC-Central meet Feb. 10 at Hilliard Davidson.
Hurt won the floor exercise (9.3), uneven bars (9.1) and vault (9.05) and was runner-up on the balance beam (8.775) to score a 36.225 in the all-around.
"I'm so proud of her," coach Kristen Willms said. "A three-peat OCC champion is a big deal, and she's worked really hard."
The Shamrocks finished seventh (73.675) in the eight-team league meet, behind champion Upper Arlington (131.325).
Claire Connelly finished 16th (25.2) in the all-around. Also competing for Coffman were Allexia Dempsey and Lauren Delfunt.
The Shamrocks don't compete again until the district meet Feb. 24 at Worthington Kilbourne, where Hurt shared the all-around title a year ago.
"(Winning the league title in the all-around) was amazing, especially since it's my senior year," Hurt said. "I was most proud of getting my clear hip to handstand (on bars), and how well everyone from Dublin gymnastics did. A few things (I'm working on) are fixing my back tuck and making my clear hip more consistent."
Wrestlers looking for outright OCC title
The wrestling team defeated Upper Arlington 41-22 on Feb. 8 to improve to 4-0 in the OCC-Central and earn at least a share of the league title.
The Shamrocks will look to wrap up the outright league championship when they compete Thursday, Feb. 15, at Davidson. They beat the Wildcats 41-19 on Jan. 24 in a third-round match of the Division I team dual tournament.
Davidson and Marysville are tied for second in the OCC-Central at 3-1.
Athletes announce college decisions
Ten student-athletes recently announced their college decisions.
On Feb. 7, Cole Bagozzi (Denison), Luke Crabtree (Ashland) and Kaleb Holcomb (Air Force) all committed to play football collegiately.
In men's soccer, Emeka Eneli will play for Cornell, Luke Kiley will play for Georgetown, Noah Paoletti will play for Denison and Jack Wallberg will play for Otterbein.
Abby Steiner will compete in women's soccer and women's track and field at Kentucky.
Izzie Vaccari will play women's soccer at Fairmont State, and Dominic Elmo will play men's lacrosse at Massachusetts.
Below are the coming schedules for the Coffman boys basketball and hockey teams:
*Feb. 16 -- At Upper Arlington. The Shamrocks lost to the Golden Bears 44-41 on Feb. 3.
Feb. 17 -- 13th-seeded Oxford Talawanda in first round of district tournament at OhioHealth Ice Haus. Winner plays fourth-seeded Cincinnati Moeller in second round Feb. 18 at Ice Haus. That winner plays sixth-seeded Olentangy or ninth-seeded New Albany in a quarterfinal Feb. 24 at Ice Haus. Coffman is the 15th seed.
*League contestAt a glance
Below are the district qualifiers with sectional time and district seeds for the Coffman boys and girls swimming teams:
BOYS -- Zak Birnbrich: 100 fly (51.11, second), 100 free (48.41, eighth); Owen McQuaid: 100 back (55.03, ninth), 100 free (48.83, 12th); Eddie Michael: 50 free (21.4, first), 100 free (46.78, first); Cole Northup: 50 free (22.87, 29th), 100 back (55.54, 13th); Brendan Oshida: 100 breast (59.82, sixth), 500 free (4:42.83, second); Will Randall: 100 free (50.01, 27th), 200 free (1:45.92, third); Ethan Shaw: 200 free (1:46.81, fifth), 500 free (4:44.49, third); Andy Shepard: 100 fly (53.08, fourth), 200 free (1:49.88, 17th); Ted Stevens: 100 breast (1:01.08, 11th), 200 IM (2:07.04, 29th); 200 medley relay (1:38.72, second); 200 free relay (1:28.14, second); 400 free relay (3:11.92, second)
GIRLS -- Ellie Andrews: 100 breast (1:04.25, second), 200 IM (2:08.18, second); Hannah Bailey: 100 breast (1:05, third), 100 fly (56.71, first); Cameron Das: 100 back (1:01.67, 24th), 200 IM (2:16.6, 12th); Sydney Griggs: 500 free (5:39.89, 25th); Marissa Kruse: 50 free (25.29, 24th), 100 breast (1:10.67, 18th); Linda Lu: 200 IM (2:21.06, 27th); Eeshaa Mehta: 50 free (25.55, 29th); Ellie O'Banion: 200 free (2:00.86, 17th), 500 free (5:29.44, 15th); Grace O'Banion: 200 free (1:59.84, 14th), 500 free (5:19.25, 10th); Kristyn Sabol: 100 fly (58.36, sixth), 200 free (1:57.16, fifth); Jillian Wagner: 500 free (5:35.65, 21st); Ava Warren: 100 back (1:02.12, 28th), 100 free (55.09, 26th); 200 free relay (1:39.52, second); 200 medley relay (1:48.01, first); 400 free relay (3:36.83, fourth)