It wasn’t necessarily part of the game plan to shoot 3-pointers, but the cliché ‘when you’re hot, you’re hot’ applied early on regarding what worked well for the Newark High School girls basketball team in a Division I regional final March 10 at Otterbein University.

The Wildcats got a pair of 3s from Gabby Stare and one from Carlee Street to help build an 11-point first-quarter cushion and never led by fewer than six points over the final three quarters on their way to a 66-54 win over Dublin Coffman.

Newark improved to 28-0 and advanced to play Toledo Notre Dame Academy or Berea-Midpark in a state semifinal March 17 at Ohio State.

Coffman, which also lost to the Wildcats 69-54 on Nov. 25, finished 25-3.

“Our kids came out shooting, but (the shots) went in, so what are you going to do?” Newark coach J.R. Shumate said. “We didn’t play our best game, but we’re cutting down the nets. They were poised and confident.”

Coffman closed to within 48-41 with 5 minutes, 55 seconds left on a 3-pointer by Kaitlyn Kopyar and was within 50-44 with 5:03 to go after a 3-pointer by Jacy Sheldon.

That was as close as the Shamrocks would get, though, as Newark went on a 7-0 run to seal the win.

Videos •Newark accepts the regional championship trophy. •Dublin Coffman receives the regional runner-up trophy.

Stare made eight of 12 shots from the floor and finished with 23 points to lead the Wildcats. Olivia Fox scored 12 points and Emily Paul added 11.

“We came out and showed a little inexperience,” Coffman coach Bryan Patton said. “We got it to six (points) with the ball and with the momentum, but never could quite finish the (rally).”

Sheldon, who entered the game averaging 23.6 points, was held to nine. Abby Vollmer scored 16 to lead the Shamrocks.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek