In a night where nobody felt safe from being upset (ex. Danville defeating Africentric) , Pickerington Central made sure the Tiger faithful wouldn’t have to stress, defeating seventh-seeded Dublin Coffman 73-54 in the second district semifinal at Pickerington North. The Tigers (18-7) were led by Jae’Sean Tate and Connor Kern, each with 20 points on the night.
Jalen Tate opened the scoring for the Tigers on the night with a layup. Jae’Sean would add to the lead a few possessions later on a monstrous dunk in transition, giving Pickerington Central a 6-1 lead early on.
Despite falling down eight later in the quarter, Kevin Marsh for Dublin Coffman (18-5) would knock down triples on consecutive possessions, cutting the Tiger lead down to two. Connor Kern would hit one of his four threes as time wound down in the first quarter, giving Pickerington Central a 17-12 advantage after one.
The Tigers throughout the night forced many turnovers out of the Shamrocks with their full-court pressure, causing Dublin Coffman to throw into the deep corner or just wildly out-of-bounds.
Play after the first would get a bit chippy, and escalated quickly once Jae’Sean Tate picked up a technical foul arguing with an official after being called for an illegal screen near the halfway point in the quarter.
Josh Morrow for Coffman would make one of two free-throws for the technical foul, giving Coffman their first and only lead of the night at 20-19. Over the next 10-plus minutes, Pickerington Central would use their pressuring defense and transition offense to go on a 32-8 run, and capped off by a Kyran Boyd three near the end of the third quarter.
The final frame was stress-free for the most part, but did include two dunks from Coffman forward Jason Hall, including one he would receive a technical for in the waning minutes of the game. The lead would balloon to its max at 63-39 on a basket from Pickerington Central’s DJ Tyree.
Pickerington Central will face Olentangy Orange on Saturday March 7 at noon at the Fairgrounds Coliseum. Olentangy Orange shocked fourth-seeded New Albany tonight, 46-45 on a buzzer beater.