ELIDA — The Lima Senior girls basketball merry-go-round of top scorers wasn’t stopping on Friday against Elida.
Freshman Rion Thompson scored a game-high 24 points to pace Lima Senior in a 73-60 victory in the consolation game of the annual Vicki Mauk Holiday Tournament at Elida Fieldhouse. Sixteen of those points came in the second half when Lima Senior began to pull away.
In the championship game, Minster fell to Sylvania Southview, 48-44.
“Rion has struggled to find her shot the last few games,” Lima Senior coach Vince Halliday said. “Today she shot very well to give us a big boost, and we need her and Essence (Cowan) to step up and score while teams are focusing on Indiya (Benjamin) and Stacia (Allen).”
The game was very much a rollercoaster on both sides, with each team getting hot and cold streaks throughout the game. Lima Senior was the first beneficiary, contesting every shot in the first quarter to gain an 18-10 advantage after the first period. The second quarter was very different, with Elida getting consistent lay-ups out of Torie McAdams en route to a 28-point Elida quarter and shortening Lima Senior’s lead to 43-38.
The Spartans’ defense was able to bounce back with a huge start to the second half, allowing just eight points from the Bulldogs in the third quarter and extending their lead all the way to 16 points. The new deficit was something Elida couldn’t recover from.
“When you have four kids with so much offensive talent, it can be difficult to convince them that they need to step it up on defense,” Halliday said. “That’s what we’re trying to work on. I thought in the second half we did a lot better job of keeping the ball in front of us and not giving up those easy lay-ups.”
Benjamin scored 18 points for the Spartans before fouling midway through the fourth quarter, while Cowan came up with 9 points and Imara Haynes finished with 8 points.
McAdams’ inside shooting produced 20 points for Elida, with O’sha Owens close behind with 18 points. Ashley Lowry added eight points and Kylie Downton scored seven points.
“We’ve been waiting for Torie (McAdams) to have a breakout game,” Elida coach Chrissy Billiter said. “She’s one of those girls who shows up and does everything right in practice. Today was a great game for her to gain some confidence, and for our guards to gain confidence in her to feed her the ball inside.”
“We struggled to capitalize on things that work today,” Elida co-coach Elise Jenkins said. “What was working in the second half was driving, it just took us too long to realize that.”
In the title game, Minster got another big day out of Bridget Geiger but came up short against a challenging Sylvania Southview team. Geiger scored a team-high 15 points, while Southview got 18 points out of Taryn Stanley.
Minster led for much of the game, its biggest lead being a 25-17 advantage in the second quarter. But Southview was able to chip away little by little until tying the game at 33 late in the third quarter. The game went back and forth the rest of the way.
With the game tied at 44, Southview got a lay-up from Madi Thomas to take the lead with 15 seconds left. Bailey Heil got a steal on the subsequent Minster possession and iced the game with a pair of free throws.
“I thought we shot pretty well in the first half,” Minster coach Nann Stechschulte said. “In the third quarter, I thought they got a few offensive rebounds and put-backs that I thought allowed them to get an advantage. Then, in the fourth quarter we just didn’t take care of the ball.”
Minster, Elida and Lima Senior each are now 6-4 on the season.