COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Never trailing on Saturday, No. 1 Pickerington Central took home its fifth district title since 2012 in a 65-57 win over No. 18 Dublin Coffman.
Jumping out to an 8-0 run to begin the game, Pickerington Central would control the game the rest of the way, never allowing Coffman to get any closer than six points at any point in the game.
Pickerington Central would be led by senior center Sterling Manley and junior forward Juan Elmore, who each scored 19 points. Whenever it seemed like Dublin Coffman was close to making a run, it would be Elmore who stepped up, as the 6-foot-4 forward added eight rebounds, three assists and five steals to his stat line.
In a matchup of the top-ranked point guards in the freshman and sophomore classes, Dublin Coffman ninth grader Dominiq Penn would win the individual matchup vs. Pickerington Central's Jeremiah Francis. Penn dazzled all evening long, finishing with a game-high 24 points on six threes. Penn flashed his elite-level quickness and ball handling, scoring on a variety of Pickerington Central defenders. Francis finished with six points and two assists.
With the win, Pickerington Central advances to the regional tournament to take on the winner of No. 8 St. Charles and No. 14 Hilliard Davidson on Wednesday, March 15 at 7 p.m. at Ohio Dominican. Hours after No. 2 Newark was upset by No. 9 Pickerington North, Pickerington Central figures to be the overwhelming favorite in Division I in the area.