The record the Dublin Coffman girls basketball team has achieved backs up the assertion that it should be one of the top five seeds heading into the Division I district tournament seeding meeting Sunday, Feb. 2.
That doesn't mean there aren't questions surrounding the Shamrocks as they prepare for the postseason, which begins in mid-February, but coach Adam Banks believes the same could be said for any team in central Ohio.
Coffman gave up 16 3-pointers in a 74-66 loss to Reynoldsburg on Jan. 14, but that marked its first loss.
With an 83-15 victory over Westland on Jan. 24, the Shamrocks improved to 8-0 in the OCC-Central Division and wrapped up the league championship. They have won at least a share of five consecutive league titles and 44 consecutive league games.
Coffman lost to Gahanna 59-55 on Jan. 25 but defeated Northland 54-37 on Jan. 27 to improve to 17-2 overall. The Shamrocks continue league action Friday, Jan. 31, at Marysville.
"(The Central District is) kind of wide open this year with Gahanna beating (Pickerington) Central (68-63 on Jan. 10) and we just lost to Reynoldsburg," Banks said. "You never really know. A lot of people don't know what our record means, but I told these girls and I preach it every day that we can lose any game we play and we can win any game we play. It's about the attention to detail."
One thing that should help the Shamrocks going forward is their improved health.
The game against the Raiders marked a return from injury for sophomore guard Imarianah Russell, who averaged 15.8 points in her first five games back.
Guard Jenny Kopyar and wing player/guard Tessa Grady have been key players all season despite being freshmen while senior guard Juliana Burris has helped fill the leadership role.
"Our best way to move forward is to play more of these games (against strong teams)," Banks said. "We've got a really young team and young doesn't mean we don't know how to play, but some of these girls haven't been in certain situations before where they're running and trapping you everywhere or where you've got to turn down a shot to make a better pass. Situationally, the more they play, the more I think we'll get and we'll just try to get better."
Boys basketball team seeking consistency
The boys basketball team will have a chance to stay in the OCC-Central title race when it plays host to Marysville on Friday, Jan. 31.
The Shamrocks lost to the Monarchs 80-78 in overtime on Dec. 20. They led the contest by double digits in the first half as Keaton Turner and Marysville's Jack Christian both finished with 34 points.
"(Marysville) played well," coach Jamey Collins said. "We were up in that game and we've been up in every game in the fourth quarter, third quarter. We're just not always finishing off games. Sometimes we do. We're not playing bad opponents by any stretch, and give credit to them for the plays they make."
Coffman beat Westland 66-41 on Jan. 24 and Africentric 64-47 on Jan. 25 in the Play by Play Classic at Ohio Dominican and is 13-5 overall and 6-1 in the OCC-Central. Marysville is 7-0 in the league.
On Jan. 21, the Shamrocks trailed Olentangy Orange by two points and had the ball with 15 seconds left but weren't able to get off a shot and lost 70-66 despite getting 33 points from Turner.
Nash Hostetler had 18 points and Turner scored 17 against Westland and Hostetler scored 18 against Africentric.
Swim teams prep for postseason
The swimming teams begin the postseason Feb. 8 with a Division I sectional at Kenyon College.
In the OCC-Central meet Jan. 25 at Kenyon, the girls team scored 456 points to place second behind Upper Arlington (573) and ahead of Marysville (288), Hilliard Davidson (241), Central Crossing (163) and Westland (70), while the boys team finished third (316) behind UA (600) and Davidson (400) and ahead of Marysville (217) and Central Crossing (112).
For the girls team, Ellie Andrews finished first in both the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 7.33 seconds) and 100 breaststroke (1:03.77), Kristyn Sabol won the 100 butterfly (57.73) and 100 freestyle (53.09), Cameron Das was first in the 100 backstroke (1:02) and second in the 200 IM (2:19.08) and the 200 medley relay of Gretchen Schneider, Andrews, Hannah Bailey and Emma Bowman (1:46.63), the 200 free relay of Sabol, Bowman, Ava Warren and Bailey (1:41.27) and the 400 free relay of Sabol, Schneider, Warren and Andrews (3:38.49) all finished first.
Also placing second were Schneider in the 200 free (1:57.29) and 500 free (5:13.16), Bailey in the 100 breast (1:06.1), Bowman in the 50 free (25.19), Isabella Palazzo in the 100 back (1:02.33) and Sidney Boroff in diving (370.25).
For the boys team, Joseph Nadur won the 200 IM (1:59.09), Ethan Shaw finished first in the 500 free (4:45.22) and second in the 200 free (1:44.17), Zac Stump won the 100 back (53.17), Brendan Oshida was runner-up in the 100 breast (1:00.84) and Will Randall placed second in the 50 free (22.0).
The 200 medley relay of Stump, Oshida, Shaw and Randall also finished first (1:37.26), while the 200 free relay of Nadur, Oshida, Tej Somi Reddy and Presley Mossman (1:39.59) and the 400 free relay of Shaw, Nadur, Stump and Randall (3:16.85) both were second.
Below are the coming schedules for the Coffman boys basketball, girls basketball, gymnastics, hockey and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 31 -- Home vs. Marysville. The Shamrocks lost to the Monarchs 80-78 on Dec. 20.
Feb. 4 -- At Westerville North
*Jan. 31 -- At Marysville. The Shamrocks beat the Monarchs 65-54 on Dec. 20.
Feb. 4 -- Home vs. Westerville North
Feb. 4 -- Home vs. Jerome, *Marysville, Olentangy Berlin, Scioto and Thomas Worthington
*Jan. 31 -- Olentangy Orange at Chiller North
*Feb. 1 -- Cincinnati Moeller at Northland Ice Center
*Jan. 30 -- Home vs. Upper Arlington
Feb. 1 -- Rieman Invitational at Delaware