WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- In a tale of two halves on Tuesday night, the depth and shooting ability of Dublin Coffman outlasted the starpower of Reynoldsburg late as Rocks sophomore Jenna Kopyar buried a go-ahead triple with less than 15 seconds left to power them to a huge 60-57 win in the Division I regional semifinals at Westerville South.
Reynoldsburg started the first in an intense, suffocating pressure defense with Alexia Mobley leading the charge at the top of the key. Dublin Coffman struggled to get the ball inside the three point line but kept the game within arms length thanks to three point shooting by junior Cassidy Lafler and sophomore Tessa Grady.
Mobley was extremely effective, forcing multiple turnovers at the top of their defense leading to wide open layups for the Raiders. After a two by Mobley, junior Imarianah Russell exploded late in the first quarter, scoring 10-straight points for the Raiders. This 12-point run gave Reynoldsburg a 10 point lead. Junior Mya Perry sealed the quarter with two free throws providing the Raiders a 24-14 advantage headed into the second.
Russell and Mobley continued their domination in the second, scoring a combined 15 points. With every strike Reynoldsburg made, Coffman reacted with a big play of their own. Junior Taylor Covington was a major force for the Rocks in the second, providing eight points with two three pointers. Reynoldsburg boasted a 14 point lead late in the quarter thanks to five-straight points from Mobley and Russell but Coffman was able to cut the lead to 11 at the break on a Covington three.
A different Coffman team came to play in the second half, holding Reynoldsburg to just five points in the third quarter. Another three by Covington cut the Raider lead to two. Kopyar tied the game with a layup but Russell immediately answered with a two of her own. A second Kopyar bucket tied the game at 46 to end the quarter, setting up a great finish to this regional semifinal.
Early in the fourth, after a three from junior Trinity Ramos and a layup from Russell, Reynoldsburg had a five-point lead. Lafler and Covington hit back to back threes to give Coffman a one-point lead with just over three minutes left in the game. The Raiders scored three points giving them a one point lead with a little over 40 seconds left.
On the biggest possession of the game, the sophomore Kopyar drained a cold blooded three pointer from the top of the key with 15 second left to give Coffman a two-point lead.
Russell was fouled on the ensuing drive to the basket and headed to the free throw line with a chance to tie the game. She connected on one of two shots, moving the Rocks’ lead to just one point.
On Coffman's next trip, Covington was fouled with just over eight seconds left. She connected on both, giving the Rocks a three point lead. Russell attempted a three from the top of the key as the buzzer sounded but it was just off, ending any chance of overtime for the Raiders.
Covington led Coffman with 16 (four threes) followed by Lafler with 12, Tara Flynn with 11 and Grade with 10. In the loss, Reynoldsburg was led by Russell with 27 and Mobley with 12.
Dublin Coffman moves on to the regional final to face Newark on Friday at 7 p.m. at Westerville South.
In a twist of intrigue, Newark head coach JR Shumate will likely have to miss Friday's regional final after being ejected toward the end of the Wildcats' blowout win over Pickerington Central on Tuesday.