Boys Basketball: Dublin Scioto comes through in clutch at Dublin Jerome (2024)

Saturday, December 23, 2023
By Michael Rich

Boys Basketball: Dublin Scioto comes through in clutch at Dublin Jerome (1)

Dublin Scioto’s Aaron Foster moves with the ball against Dublin Jerome on Dec. 23 at Jerome. Photo: John Hulkenberg

Aaron Foster has learned to slow the game down and stay calm in big situations.

It was particularly evident when the junior guard scored 11 of his game-best 14 points to lead the Dublin Scioto boys basketball team to a 56-46 win at Dublin Jerome in a non-league game on Dec. 23.

“Throughout the year, we’ve been working on staying calm and not getting too high or not getting too low,” said Foster, who finished with 14 points, five rebounds and four steals for the Irish. “I think working together is the biggest thing. No one’s being too selfish.”

Scioto improved to 6-1 on the season, which didn’t seem possible during offseason conditioning.

“(They’re) buying into the process of playing the right way all the time,” Irish coach Tony Anderson said. “The results are going to be what the results are going to be. But these guys have really bought into that mentality. I can’t really thank them enough. We’re 6-1 and I don’t think anyone around here expected us to be where we’re at right now. But it’s a lot of credit to (our) guys.”

Anderson was named coach last May after serving as an assistant at Thomas Worthington since 2005. He already has the Irish believing.

Boys Basketball: Dublin Scioto comes through in clutch at Dublin Jerome (2)

Dublin Jerome’s Cooper Craig (right) and Dublin Scioto’s Aaron Foster go for the ball Dec. 23 at Jerome. Photo: John Hulkenberg

“I feel like we bought in because they showed us that they were buying in,” senior guard Evan Brown said. “(They brought us) in at 6 a.m., right after school and on weekends. They showed us that they wanted it as much as we did.”

Scioto’s only loss came at Westerville South (76-64) on Dec. 8.

“Just knowing the history of the coaches that are with us,” Foster said. “(They’re) winning coaches (and) smart coaches. They showed us through practices and scrimmages that they knew what they were talking about. If we did what they told us, we’d win games. That was the biggest thing that helped us buy in so far.”

Brown was clutch for the Irish as well, knocking down four 3-pointers, which accounted for all of his points.

He buried a 3 with 3 minutes, 54 seconds remaining in the first quarter to give Scioto the lead.

He hit a second one on the next possession, forcing Jerome to play from behind most of the way.

But the Celtics kept it a two-possession game. Veer Shah connected on a 3 on their first possession of the second half and Cooper Craig slashed the lane for a basket a couple of possessions later to finally tie the game at 22 with 5:07 left in the third.

But Brown was there to answer again, burying a 3 from the wing to give the Irish the lead again.

Boys Basketball: Dublin Scioto comes through in clutch at Dublin Jerome (3)

Dublin Jerome’s Jayden Nimako looks to score against Dublin Scioto on Dec. 23 at Jerome. Photo: John Hulkenberg

His last 3, which came with 2:16 left in the third extended the Scioto lead to seven – its largest to that point.

“I haven’t been feeling so confident in my shot, but today I finally got it to hit,” Brown said. “I just feel like we played as a team today. My guys knew when to get me the ball and when not to. I knew when to shoot. I just felt confident today.”

Jerome (3-4) whittled the lead down to one on another Shah 3-pointer with 5:31 left in the fourth. But the Irish responded with five quick points, including a steal and a basket through contact by Foster. He converted the free throw to give Scioto a 44-38 lead with 4:16 remaining and Jerome never got close again.

It was a balanced effort for Scioto with four players scoring in double figures, including Kaden Haywood with 11 points and 10 rebounds and Winston Lomax with 13 points and seven boards.

The Irish 15 offensive rebounds and 29 overall. They also had 13 steals.

Shah had 11 points and six rebounds, Cooper Craig had 10 points and four steals and Carson Bleeks had nine points, three assists and three rebounds for the Celtics.

“We didn’t play hard enough,” Celtics coach Richie Beard said. “We got punked on our home court. We had a bunch of guys that played selfish basketball and that’s what happened … it ends up in a loss.”

Jack Karam had four steals to go with seven points and Jayden Nimako had seven rebounds and four points for Jerome, which lost its fourth game in a row.

“(Scioto) wanted it more than us – that was literally it,” Beard said. “We’re typically the more physical team when we play and for whatever reason we weren’t today.”

Boys Basketball: Dublin Scioto comes through in clutch at Dublin Jerome (4)

Dublin Jerome’s Matty Giannantonio drives to the basket while Dublin Scioto’s Winston Lomax (35) and Zackai Gregory (12) defend Dec. 23 at Jerome. Photo: John Hulkenberg

Boys Basketball: Dublin Scioto comes through in clutch at Dublin Jerome (2024)
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