St. Vincent-St. Mary’s girls basketball team has some lofty goals it hopes to achieve. An undefeated season will no longer be one of those, however.
A talented Dublin Coffman team spoiled that Saturday afternoon, emerging with a 48-42 victory at LeBron James Arena, the first loss for St. V-M after winning its first 12.
After a halftime deadlock, Coffman (10-6) scored the first seven points of the third quarter. And though the Fighting Irish had a number of opportunities to take the lead after that, they could never quite do so.
The visiting Shamrocks held the Irish to just two baskets in the last 5:53 of the game to close it out.
Uncharacteristically subpar shooting, as well as a few late turnovers, ultimately doomed St. V-M (12-1), ranked fourth in the latest Division II state rankings.
“We had chances,” said St. V-M coach Joe Jakubick. “There’s no doubt our decision-making wasn’t the best that it’s been. We didn’t execute the way you need to.”
Jordan Korinek, a 6-foot-2 senior forward, paced the Irish with 15 points and 12 rebounds. But they struggled as a team, shooting just 13-of-46 from the floor and 11-of-21 from the line.
“You’ve got to make free throws,” said Jakubick. “You’ve got to make some easier shots that we had opportunities. This is a good learning experience for our team. We needed this, so it’s a good thing. We’ve got to learn from it. If we learn from it, it’s a good thing, let me rephrase that.”
Senior Kiley May scored 10 points for the Irish and senior Shannon Jack added eight.
Coffman, a Columbus-area Division I team that won the tough Ohio Capital Conference Central Division the past two years, enjoyed having 6-1 junior Sade Olatoye in her second game back from a bruised meniscus. The Shamrocks were 2-5 in her absence.
Olatoye, whose first name is pronounced “shah-day,” — like the famed singer — proved to be a smooth operator in the low post with 15 points and 15 rebounds and was an intimidating defensive presence.
After picking up her fourth foul with 4:53 left in the third quarter and Coffman leading 27-24, Olatoye sat until the early fourth quarter, but her teammates maintained the three-point margin. She then immediately made two inside baskets upon re-entering.
“She probably could have played a couple weeks ago but we held her out,” said Coffman coach Bryan Patton. “We needed her for the stretch run and this is our stretch run. We knew we were playing a very well-coached and seasoned team and one of the better teams, if not the best team up in this area.
“We were very fortunate. We didn’t shoot the ball that great, missed some free throws that made it interesting. But the girls defended and they were competitive from start to finish.”
Coffman’s Kamerine Taylor, a 5-9 junior, scored 15 with three 3-point baskets. The Shamrocks prevailed despite making just 11-of-27 free throws.
St. V-M scored eight in a row to lead 18-13 midway through the second quarter but Coffman battled back for a 19-19 halftime tie. After Coffman went up 26-19 to start the second half, May scored the next five points to make it 26-24. The Irish trailed 35-34 after a Lexie Handley free throw started the fourth quarter before the Shamrocks began to pull away, building a 46-39 lead.
Jack’s 3-pointer cut it to 46-42 with 55 seconds left. Coffman added two free throws to seal the win.
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