Notebook: Dublin Scioto girls basketball squad looks to rebound from tough stretch

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Ashleigh Rothe and Scioto were 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the OCC-Capital Division before playing Worthington Kilbourne on Jan. 22. The Irish, who started 4-0, entered the contest on a three-game losing streak.

The Dublin Scioto girls basketball team has struggled since its 4-0 start, but coach Jen Music is confident her squad will respond.

The Irish were 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the OCC-Capital Division before playing Worthington Kilbourne on Jan. 22. They entered the game on a three-game losing streak. 

Ashleigh Rothe scored 16 points and Erika Lytle added 11 in a 64-46 loss to visiting Westerville South on Jan. 19. 

“They’re a very good team,” Music said of South. “It was a tough loss, but we’ll learn from it and continue to work and look towards our next games.” 

Scioto led Watterson 31-21 after three quarters Jan. 18 at Pickerington Central before the Eagles rallied to win 45-40. The game was part of the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. Classic. 

Lytle, Alec Rothe and Karleigh Rothe each scored six points to lead the Irish. 

“It was a tough one to take, but a great learning moment for us and (showed) changes we need to make in the future,” Music said.  

Karleigh Rothe scored 15 points in a 41-38 setback Jan. 15 to visiting Westerville North, which led the OCC-Capital at 8-0 entering play Jan. 22. 

Scioto visits Canal Winchester on Jan. 29. The Irish beat the Indians 42-40 on Dec. 18. 

•The Coffman wrestling team is preparing for the Division I state team tournament, which will take place Feb. 6 at Lakewood St. Edward after being held at Ohio State the past seven seasons. 

The event is being sponsored by the Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association instead of the OHSAA this season. 

The Shamrocks were seeded second among Central District programs and beat third-seeded Westerville North 56-16 on Jan. 13 to capture their fifth regional title in six seasons. 

Marysville, the area’s top seed, is the other squad from central Ohio that will compete in the eight-team event. 

“It’ll be all the heavy hitters like (Brecksville-Broadview Heights), St. Edward (and) Wadsworth,” coach Chance Van Gundy said. 

The Shamrocks, who beat Olentangy Orange 64-12 on Jan. 14 to improve to 12-2 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Central, were ranked fourth in the state last week by borofanohio.net. 

Junior Seth Shumate (195 pounds) has been among the standouts, according to Van Gundy, along with seniors Jimmy Baumann (138) and Michael Blocher (220), juniors Ismael Ayoub (126), Mitchell Broskie (182), Dez Gartrell (160) and Riley Ucker (heavyweight) and freshmen Omar Ayoub (113) and Ethan Birden (132). 

“(Shumate) looked impressive (against Orange),” Van Gundy said. “He’s doing well. It’s a long season and we expect so much from him.”

–Jarrod Ulrey 

Eli Vilkinofsky and Jerome have continued to battle this season despite the team's smaller roster. “The kids continue to come in and work hard and have gotten better each week,” coach Matt White said.

•Because of smaller participation numbers, the Jerome wrestling team sometimes forfeits three or four weight classes in duals. 

The Celtics were 6-6 overall after beating Scioto 45-24 and New Albany 35-33 on Jan. 16. They opened OCC-Cardinal action with a 43-18 win over Thomas Worthington on Jan. 7 and lost 69-6 to Marysville on Jan. 14 to fall to 1-1. 

“As with many teams, we’ve taken a significant hit in the roster size of our team going from 35 to 14 wrestlers from the previous year,” coach Matt White said. “The kids continue to come in and work hard and have gotten better each week.” 

After being district alternates last season, juniors Luke Milanovich (145) and Coleton Fleury (195) have been among the standouts, according to White.

“We’ve continued to stress the importance of fixing our small mistakes that can lead to bigger issues,” White said. “We need to learn from those mistakes and then not repeat them. I’ve told the team, given our small numbers, to concentrate on winning their individual battles on the mat and not to worry about team scores. 

“If they do that, then everything else will fall into place. We’re not wrestling a tournament schedule, so it’s been difficult for these kids to learn what it’s like to wrestle when your back is to the wall. Fortunately, we’ve had some close dual matches.”

–Jarrod Ulrey 

•The Scioto boys bowling team continues to make strides in its second season. 

“Everyone is making great progress,” coach Tamie Snyder said. “My top three bowlers have 11 total games of 200 or better. I have some very committed, hard-working newer bowlers who will be moving up quickly.” 

The Irish were 4-4 overall and 3-4 in the COHSBC-B before facing Pickerington Central on Jan. 26. They beat Reynoldsburg 1,896-1,820 on Jan. 20 at Holiday Lanes as Brian Diehl led the way with a 445 two-game series, followed by Nick Lauro with a 415. 

Through 16 games, Lauro had a team-best 185.3 average, followed by Diehl (178.9) and Daniel Oesch (157.4). 

The girls team was 0-7 overall and 0-6 in the league before playing Central. Through 14 games, Leah Matter (134.4 average) and  Kayla Butcher (125.3) led the Irish. 

–Frank DiRenna

•The three games the Coffman girls basketball team played during the third weekend of January were examples of what coach Adam Banks has been looking to see all season. 

The Shamrocks followed a 44-40 overtime win Jan. 15 over Hilliard Bradley by rallying from an early double-digit deficit to beat McArthur Vinton County 69-56 the next day and then came back from another early deficit to beat Pickerington Central 47-42 on Jan. 18. 

The last two victories came in the MLK tournament at Central. 

“We’ve been figuring some things out,” Banks said. “We’re kind of getting settled in. To start the year, we were all super concerned with the speed of one another, trying to figure out how to practice, like everyone else in central Ohio. We have 12 kids on the team and each one of them is a competitor.” 

Coffman was 11-1 overall after beating Central, and 5-0 in the OCC-Central following the victory over Bradley. 

Senior guard Kenzie Bicking made a program-record eight 3-pointers for all 24 of her points in a 62-42 victory over Olentangy Liberty on Jan. 2, and she was averaging 11 points through 12 games. 

Sophomore guard Jenna Kopyar (15.0) and sophomore wing player Tessa Grady (12.0) also were averaging in double figures, and Banks said junior forward Cassidy Lafler has provided a lift since returning in late December from injury. 

He said the Shamrocks also have gotten strong play from junior forward Tara Flynn, who leads the team in rebounding and assists and often guards the opponent’s best offensive player. 

–Jarrod Ulrey 

•The Jerome hockey team had not played a game for 11 days but still looked sharp in the Blue Division of the Pioneer Classic at Chiller North. 

After opening the event with a 4-0 victory over Wheeling (West Virginia) Linsly on Jan. 15, the Celtics beat Springboro 4-3 and Watterson 8-2 on Jan. 16.  

Jerome then defeated Coffman 4-0 on Jan. 17 for the title as it improved to 7-6-1 overall. 

The Celtics’ last game before their extended break was a 4-2 loss to Orange on Jan. 4 that dropped them to 3-4-1 in the CHC-Red. 

Against Coffman, Anthony DiPaolo scored two goals and goalie J.B. Russo made 15 saves. 

Evan Halligan had four goals against Watterson, and Hayden Hale led with two goals against Springboro. 

–Jarrod Ulrey 

sports@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSports