LIMA – It was senior night at Monsignor E. C. Herr Gymnasium and Lima Central Catholic senior guard Martyce Kimbrough said good-bye in a big way.
Kimbrough hit two 3-pointers and two 2-point buckets in the opening three minutes of the Friday night game against visiting Allen-East. The T-Birds sprinted out to a 13-0 lead and never looked back as they coasted to an 85-32 victory.
Kimbrough led four LCC players in double digits with his game-high 22 points while Dantez Walton added 17, Xavier Simpson chipped in with 15 points and senior Cory Stewart finished his home career with an 11-point night. LCC’s other two seniors, Zach Schroeder and Ben Stechschulte, started the game and ended with three and four points respectively.
“It was a great way to end the regular season for our seniors,” LCC coach Frank Kill said. “Our pressure and intensity was the key tonight.”
Even with some players getting extra playing time and some unusual rotations on the floor; the T-Birds defense created havoc for the Mustangs and the result was not only turnovers but easy lay-ups for LCC at the other end.
“We came out with a lot of intensity; we wanted to have fun and make it memorable,” Kimbrough said. “Now it is a new season and we need to take it to another level.”
LCC (18-4) forced 15 first half turnovers and shot 19-of-26 (73 percent) from the field in the opening half as they raced to a first quarter lead of 21-8. The T-Birds then rode a 22-0 run to open the second period and went to the half time break with an insurmountable 45-18 lead.
LCC placed 11 players in the scoring column while Allen East senior Matt Shuey was the only Mustang to reach double digits with his 10-point effort.
The T-Birds eased the defensive pressure in the second half but still out-scored the Mustangs 40-14 over the third and fourth quarters.
Kill immediately turned his thoughts to the upcoming tournament.
“The defense we played tonight is what we need to build on for tournament success,” Kill said.”Our pressure led to turnovers and easy baskets. Now our motto is one game at a time. We believe good things will happen with the ball in Xavier’s and Martyce’s hands.”
LCC finished the night shooting 64 percent from the field as they connected on 35-of-54 in addition to forcing 26 Allen East turnovers.
“We have a game to play Tuesday (Parkway in opening round sectional play), and we need to keep competing,” first year Allen East coach Jon Cook said. “The kids have six wins so it has been a tough year. We need to get a win if we want to add to that total.”