Boys Basketball: Dublin Scioto Irish looking for more consistency to close ‘frustrating’ year

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Scioto’s Tysen Boze shoots over Westerville South's Reign Winston on Jan. 19. The Irish, who were 3-7 overall and 2-7 in the OCC-Capital before playing Big Walnut on Feb. 12, are seeded 36th for the Division I district tournament and will open Feb. 23 at 35th-seeded Teays Valley.

Dublin Scioto boys basketball coach Mike Moler admits this has been one of his more challenging seasons since taking over the program in 2013.  

Moler, who previously served as an assistant coach for the Irish, said inconsistency and dealing with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic have been his team’s major obstacles.  

While most schools in the OCC-Capital Division managed to complete most of their schedules, the Irish had played only 10 games before a scheduled game Feb. 12 against Big Walnut. 

“Inconsistencies of the starting, stopping (of the season), the whole pandemic and all those things,” Moler said of the reasons behind the disappointing season in which the Irish were were 3-7 overall and 2-7 in the league before playing the Golden Eagles. “It’s just been frustrating in general.”  

The inconsistency was apparent in a 70-39 loss at Worthington Kilbourne on Feb. 9. Scioto led 19-13 in the second quarter before the Wolves went on a 38-3 run.  

James Maholm led the Irish with 15 points and Jaydon Pearson added 10.  

“When we settle down and run offense and take care of the basketball, we can play with anybody. But unfortunately, that’s a big if,” Moler said. “You have to do it for four quarters and not just one. … We’re just trying to get the kids to compete on a consistent basis.”  

Moler is hoping his team can regain some confidence during the Division I district tournament. Seeded 36th, the Irish will visit 35th-seeded Teays Valley in the opening round Feb. 23. Teays Valley is a member of the MSL-Buckeye.  

“Hopefully we go over there and compete,” Moler said. “I felt like that was a game we could give ourselves a chance to win and move forward.”  

The winner visits fifth-seeded Olentangy Liberty in the second round Feb. 26.  

Scioto is seeking its first tournament win since the 2016-17 season when it beat Delaware 57-49 in the opening round.  

“With the tournament, you just try to get better,” Moler said. “We’re just trying to get better each and every day. Our guys know that we have a chance to win a tournament game. We’ve won one tournament game in the last 10 years. The way the tournament (draw) shook out this year with a lot of the top seeds taking byes, there’s a lot of winnable games for the lower-seeded teams.”  

Pearson scored 14 points and Tysen Boze had 13 in a 40-38 win at Franklin Heights on Feb. 2.  

Boze hopes the Irish can build on that type of performance as the season winds down.  

“I feel like our guys are quitting in the second half when we start to get down,” he said. “People’s heads start to drop. Coach says we have to execute, take care of the ball and not speed up. We have to be a family and stay together.”  

Moler is looking to add regular-season games in preparation for the postseason, including playing league-foe Delaware for the first time this season.  

Scioto is scheduled to close the regular season Feb. 19 against Westerville North and Feb. 20 against Westerville South, both at home.  

Kilbourne was first in the league at 10-1 before playing Big Walnut on Feb. 13. 

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekFrank