Boys Basketball: Dublin Scioto Irish’s James Maholm plays for higher purpose (2024)

Boys Basketball: Dublin Scioto Irish’s James Maholm plays for higher purpose (1)

James Maholm has something extra to play for during hisjunior seasonon the Dublin Scioto boys basketball team: Honoring his father’s memory.

Maholm missed time as asophom*ore afterhis father, Jim, was diagnosed with COVID-19 and died a few days later, on Jan. 5, atage58.Jimwas an avid follower of his four children’s extracurricular activities, rarely missing James’ basketball games.

Afterhis father’s death, being in the gym was difficult forMaholm. But nearly a year later, playing basketball has becomecathartic and Maholm isdedicating the season to his biggest fan.

“It was hard for the first couple of weeks and even a month afterwards because that was a place where my dad and I both loved to be,” Maholm said. “I loved to see him at my games, but a lot of the work he (taught)me, stuff like that has helped me a lot.So,when I come here,I can do it for him in a way.

“It’s definitely a form of therapy for me to come here and get my mind off things and do something I love.”

Ninth-year coach Mike Moler said the death of Maholm’s father pulled his teamcloser together, a strong bond thatcarried into this season.

“We just try to keep the line of communication open, making sure he’s doing all right,” Moler said. “There’s lots of changes from last yearwith everybody.When COVID starts creeping back in again, you start thinking about last year and you try to keep your head down and workthrough it.”

Maholm, a6-footguard, is expectedto be the Irish’s top shooter.

“I’m really excited,” Moler said. “He’s been great in practice. He’sreally trying to take the next step to be a leader of the basketball team and he’s a very skilled basketball player, so I’m excited for him.”

Maholm is one of just two returnees with significant varsity experience, joining 6-4 wing player Tysen Boze, who is theteam’s lone senior.Last season,Boze averaged 12.8 points and a team-high 5.6 rebounds and was special mention all-OCC-Capital Division.

“We have young guys,” Moler said. “We only have two guys who played varsity basketball. They’re providing really good leadership. Those are our two captains. Consistency on a daily basis is wherewe’ll keep getting better and have to get better.”

Scioto finished 4-10 overall and 2-8 in the OCC-Capital last season, playing anabbreviated schedule because ofCOVID-19.

Moler expects Canal WinchesterandWesterville South to contend for the league title, but he believes his team will be in the mix.

“We have the ability to be one of the top teams in our league, so that’s what we’re going for,” Maholm said. “If you have the capability to do something, that’s what you should strive for.”

Among their graduation losses, the Irish have to replace Jaydon Pearson, whoaveraged a team-high 15.4 points and was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

COFFMAN

•Coach: Jamey Collins, 20th season

•Top players:Braden Dougherty,Aidan Dring,KevinKirkby,Ryan Lynn, Mason Maggs,Aiden Schmidt,Ajay Sheldonand Nate Sommerfeld

•Key losses:Nash Hostetler and Dylan VanVlerah

•Last season: 12-7 overall

•2020-21 OCC-Central standings:Hilliard Bradley (8-2), Olentangy Liberty (7-3), Coffman (5-5), Hilliard Davidson (5-5), Olentangy Orange (4-6), Upper Arlington (1-9)

•2021 postseason:Def.Olentangy Berlin 61-52;lost to Reynoldsburg 57-56 in Division I district semifinal

•Outlook:After losing five games by six or fewer points, the Shamrocks believe they can end up on the opposite side of those results and battle for league and district titles.

It starts with Sheldon, a 6-1 senior guard who has committed toOhio University. He averaged 23.5 points and 4.8 assists last seasonand was first-team all-league and all-district.

Dring (6-1) is a senior guard who averaged 8.1 points and was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district. Schmidt (6-3) is a junior forward who averaged 8.6 points and was special mentionall-league.

Lynn (6-2, guard) and Maggs (6-3, forward) are senior returnees, and Dougherty (6-5, forward) and Sommerfeld(6-0, guard) are junior returnees.

Junior Chase Kern (6-4, forward), sophom*ore RyanKirkby(6-3, guard) and freshman C.J. Collins (5-11, guard), who is coach Collins’ son, also should see action.

•Quotable:“It was maybe not a normal year record-wise, but we actually had a lot of good moments (last season).Usuallyyou lose four games at the buzzer in a 10-year period but that’s OK, those other teams made plays.We weren’t great at finishing games, there’s no other way to putit. We’ve got a really good group with great kids that really like to work hard. They had a good summer together and a good fall and early season. We’ve got as good of a chance as we’ve had in a number of years with the bodies and athleticism that we have.— Collins

—Jarrod Ulrey

JEROME

•Coach:Richie Beard, fifth season

•Top players:Matt Butler, C.C.Ezirim, Lachlan MacDonald and Ryan Nutter

•Key loss:Andrew Butcher

•Last season:9-14overall

•2020-21OCC-Cardinalstandings:Thomas Worthington (10-0), Marysville (7-3), Olentangy (6-4), Hilliard Darby (4-6), Jerome (3-7), Olentangy Berlin (0-10)

•2021postseason:Def. Watkins Memorial 46-31; lost to Reynoldsburg 53-46 in second round of Division I district tournament

•Outlook:With the return of his starting lineup from a season ago, Beard expects his team to improve on its 9-14 finish.

Nutter, a 6-3 junior guard,averaged 12.0 points and was first-team all-league andhonorable mention all-district. MacDonald, a 6-2 junior guard, averaged 9.5 points and was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.

Ezirim, a 6-8 senior forward, was special mention all-league and Butler, a 6-5 senior forward, was honorable mention all-league. Both averaged 6.5 points.

Beard expects Daviyon McDonald, a 6-7 senior forward and transfer from Coffman, to be a key contributor.

•Quotable:“We really haven’t talked much about last year other than just learning from some of our mistakes. Ourbiggest thing has just been more so talking about our guys being selfless and thankful. Every day we wantto be relentlessinpractice. Our three main cultural pillars arebeing relentless, selfless and thankful. If we focus on those three things, focus on the process, we’ll be where we need to be at the end of the day.”—Beard

—FrankDiRenna

SCIOTO

•Coach:Mike Moler, ninthseason

•Top players:Tysen Boze and James Maholm

•Key losses: Xavier Lopes and Jaydon Pearson

•Last season:4-10 overall

•2020-21OCC-Capitalstandings:Worthington Kilbourne (12-2), Westerville South(8-2), Canal Winchester (8-5), Big Walnut (7-5), Westerville North (6-7), Delaware (3-7), Scioto (2-8), Franklin Heights (2-12)

•2021postseason:Def. Teays Valley 48-47; lost to Olentangy Liberty 58-44 in second round of Division I district tournament

•Outlook:The Irish return just two players with significant varsity experience in Boze and Maholm.

Last season,Boze averaged 12.8 points and a team-high 5.6 rebounds and was special mention all-league.

Maholm is expected to be the team’s top shooting guard.

•Quotable:“We only have one senior (Boze), so we’re learning every day and we’re learning about ourselves. We’re learning about the system. We’re learning how to compete at the varsity level. I really like the guys that we have, we just have to get everyone out on the floor to see what the whole piece looks likewhen they’re all together.”—Moler

—FrankDiRenna

Boys Basketball: Dublin Scioto Irish’s James Maholm plays for higher purpose (2024)
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