It wasn't until last week that the Dublin Coffman High School girls basketball team had its full complement of players at practice.

It wasn't until last week that the Dublin Coffman High School girls basketball team had its full complement of players at practice.

Nearly 10 varsity and junior varsity players were members of the volleyball and soccer teams, both of which played in a Division I state final Nov. 14.

The volleyball team lost to Cincinnati St. Ursuline Academy 25-16, 25-19, 18-25, 25-17 and the soccer team lost to Medina 4-0.

But first-year coach Bryan Patton didn't mind being shorthanded.

In fact, he believes his team will benefit from having an assortment of players who have made a long tournament run, no matter what the sport.

"Winning brings winning," said Patton, who replaced Mary Ann Grimes, who retired after 12 seasons with the Shamrocks. "I think competing at that high level is going to transfer to basketball. It was a great experience, and we're excited that the players had a chance to play for a state title."

Along with missing a group of players at practices, Coffman, which opens Dec. 5 at home against Independence, has been attempting to work several new faces into a new system. In addition to the coaching change, the Shamrocks are adjusting to the loss of seven players from last season, including four of their top five scorers.

Among the players the Shamrocks lost were 6-foot-2 forward Becca Bornhorst and 5-8 point guard Sam MacKay, who are playing at Butler University and the University of Dayton, respectively.

Last season, Bornhorst averaged a team-high 13.8 points and 8.0 rebounds and shot a program-record 60 percent from the field and was named special mention all-state and first-team all-district and all-OCC-Central Division.

MacKay averaged 12.2 points, 7.0 assists, and 4.2 steals and graduated as the program's record holder for steals and assists in a game, season and career. She made third-team all-state, first-team all-district and was the OCC-Central Player of the Year.

Bornhorst and MacKay led Coffman to back-to-back 25-1 seasons that included the Shamrocks' first two district titles in program history. Both seasons ended with losses to West Chester Lakota West in the regional final. The Firebirds won 57-49 last year.

Coffman had captured the district championship with a 41-32 win over Watterson and defeated Pickerington North 73-55 in a regional semifinal.

Also last season, the Shamrocks won their fourth consecutive OCC title, going 14-0 in the OCC-Central to finish ahead of Hilliard Davidson (11-3), Upper Arlington (10-4), Hilliard Darby (8-6), Central Crossing (6-8), Thomas Worthington (5-9), Worthington Kilbourne (2-12) and Westland (0-14).

The lone returning starter is senior Andrea Baylin, a 6-1 wing and four-year varsity player. She averaged 9.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals and was named second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district. She had a team-high 23 points in the loss to Lakota West.

"Andi could play all five spots if we needed her to," said Patton, who was an assistant coach in the boys basketball program for seven years. "She is skilled enough to do whatever we need. She is a basketball player and you just put her on the floor."

The other returnees are senior Kirby Deming (5-6 guard) and juniors Stacy Axner (5-7 guard), Sarah McQuade (5-7 point guard), Meredith Stranges (6-foot post) and Lindsey Zitzke (5-10 wing). Stranges and Deming were regular substitutes last season, with Stranges averaging 4.7 points and 4.7 rebounds.

Stranges joined Baylin, Axner and Zitzke on the volleyball team.

"I'm really excited about the season," said McQuade, who will be tasked with replacing MacKay as the starting point guard. "We want to prove to people that we can still be a good team even though we lost some great seniors."

Rounding out the team are senior Tatum Tullis (5-5 guard), juniors Paige Aicher (6-1 post) and Cassie Lawrence (5-5 guard) and freshmen Bailey Wilson (5-10 wing) and Quynh Vo (5-4 guard).

Lawrence was the goalkeeper and Wilson was a defender on the soccer team.

"We're making our way right now," Patton said. "We're probably a team that is going to take some time to jell, but I think we're going to get there. We're going to play a style where the girls can do a lot when they have the ball in their hands."

Coffman, which opens OCC-Central play Dec. 8 at home against Central Crossing, has won 29 consecutive league games and 44 consecutive regular-season contests.

"I got an opportunity to see some of the local talent this summer," Patton said.

"A lot of people think Upper Arlington is going to be very good. They have a lot back. I think Hilliard Davidson will be good and I think we're going to be there, too. I know there are a lot of question marks about us, but I think we'll be OK."


Dec. 5 vs. Independence

*Dec. 8 vs. Central Crossing

*Dec. 11 at Westland

*Dec. 18 vs. Thomas Worthington

Dec. 19 at Toledo Waite

*Dec. 22 at Hilliard Darby

Dec. 29 at Maple Heights

Dec. 30 at Twinsburg

*Jan. 5 vs. Hilliard Davidson

*Jan. 8 at Worthington Kilbourne

Jan. 9 at Westerville North

*Jan. 15 vs. Upper Arlington

Jan. 17 at Pickerington Central tournament

*Jan. 22 at Central Crossing

*Jan. 26 vs. Westland

*Jan. 29 at Thomas Worthington

*Jan. 30 at Upper Arlington

*Feb. 2 vs. Hilliard Darby

*Feb. 5 at Hilliard Davidson

*Feb. 12 vs. Worthington Kilbourne

*OCC-Central game