ST. MARYS – Tournament time doesn’t leave you any choices, you either win and move on or lose and go home.
Lima Central Catholic took no chances, or prisoners, as they completely dismantled Allen East for the second week in a row and claimed the Division III St. Mary’s sectional championship with a 95-22 blow-out Friday night.
The win came exactly one week after the T-Birds beat the Mustangs 85-32 in regular season play and there was to be no let down for LCC in the re-match.
LCC (19-4) jumped out to a quick 12-0 lead and it was four minutes into the contest before the Mustangs were even able to get a field attempt off. The T-Birds press was causing Allen East fits and LCC rode first half scoring runs of 12-0, 11-0, and 18-0 to grab a first quarter lead of 28-5 that would grow to an insurmountable 53-13 at the half.
“We came to play like the last game, we approached it like we were playing the highest level team,” LCC guard Xavier Simpson said. “It is lose and done time and we approach every game like it is our last one.”
17 first half turnovers took the wind out of the Mustangs(7-15) sails and led to lay-up after lay-up by the T-Birds. LCC shot 22-of-31 (2-of-5 on three-pointers) in the first half for an outstanding 71 percent.
Allen East, meanwhile, was completely frustrated and unable to get into any kind of offensive flow and managed only 5-of-20 from the floor for 25 percent.
When LCC opened the second half on a 15-2 run, T-Birds coach Frank Kill pulled his starters and turned the game over to the T-Bird substitutes with the score standing at 68-15.
All 14 players who dressed for LCC (Nick Taflinger sat out with a shoulder injury) played and scored for the T-Birds.
Simpson led the way with a game-high 21 points while Martyce Kimbrough added 16 and Dantez Walton chipped in with 11 for the T-Birds.
“It is tournament time and we want to make a statement,” Kimbrough said. “Everybody played and got experience; we want to play our best and never let up.”
Matthew Shuey paced Allen East with 6 points while Tyler Friesner added 5 points for the Msutangs.
LCC dominated statistically as they ended the night shooting 64 percent from the field on their 34-of-53 effort. Allen East struggled to only 19 percent shooting on 7-of-36 from the floor.
LCC pulled down 33 rebounds to 20 for the Mustangs and the T-Birds committed only 10 turnovers compared to 25 for Allen East.
“We took care of business tonight, our defense was really focused.” Kill said. “We are getting better but we have to get better and play one game at a time. You have to take advantage of every opportunity to shine; there may not be a tomorrow.”
LCC advances to the Ohio Northern district where they will meet Carey at 6:15 p.m. Thursday.
Logan Ryan 3, Tyler Friesner 5, Logan Rex 1, Matthew Shuey 6, Tanner Stippich 1, Luke Perkins 1, Travis Wireman 2, Jacob Sherrick 3 Totals: 7-6-22
Lima Central Catholic
Xavier Simpson 21, Garrett Thomas 2, Dimitri Floyd 4, Martyce Kimbrough 16, Zach Schroeder 2, Tre Cobbs 8, Ethan O’Connor 5, Ben Stechschulte 4, Dantez Walton 11, Aidan O’Connor 1, Josh Dixon 4, Jake Williams 8, Cameron White 4, Cory Stewart 5 Totals: 37-16-95