LIMA – It can be a lofty challenge for a team to slow down an opponent’s leading scorer.
However, when a team throws four or five good shooters out on the basketball court, then it becomes a monumental task.
Lima Central Catholic had four players score in double figures in Saturday’s 64-32 victory over visiting Shawnee in girls basketball action.
Meredith Shepherd led LCC (10-5) with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Freshman Madison Stolly poured in 15 points, with most of those points coming off transition or moves inside the lane. Natalie Snider came off the bench in the second half and scored 14 points, including three shots behind the arc. Kayla Verhoff scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers in the first half for LCC.
Isabelle Baird led Shawnee (6-9) with nine points, including a 3-pointer. Ali Quillen, Rachel Evans and Maryssa Herschler each had six points for the Indians.
“We have good 3-point shooters – Meredith (Shepherd), Liz Kidd and Kayla (Verhoff),” Stolly said. “Then, Sydney Mohler (5-foot, 8-inch senior) is always crashing the boards. If they miss a three, then we’ll get the rebound. So, we have good balance.”
Mohler did not score Saturday, but she pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds and had two assists and a steal.
Stolly, a 5-8 guard, also came away with seven rebounds against Shawnee.
LCC led from start to finish.
In the first quarter, Stolly led the LCC charge with 10 points and two assists as the T-Birds pulled out to a 20-6 lead by the first stop. Verhoff hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter.
Shawnee struggled in the first eight minutes of the game, making just 2 of 11 shots from the field and committing nine turnovers. The Indians did not register its first field goal of the game, until the 3:28 mark of the first quarter, when Baird hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to cut the LCC lead to 12-4.
In the second quarter, Verhoff and Shepherd each hit a 3-pointer as the T-Birds pushed its lead to 32-13 by the break. In the first half, Shawnee was just 5-of-22 shooting from the field. LCC, on the other hand, was 10-of-23 from the floor.
“They hit theirs (shots); we have to get out of the box a lot better,” Shawnee coach Paul Moss said. “We have to start a little bit better and have a little more consistency, offensively.”
In the third quarter, both teams mustered just 10 points each. LCC led 42-23 by the third stop.
In the final quarter, the T-Birds’ shooting got back on track as they made 8 of 14 shots from the floor. Snider scored 11 points, including two 3-pointers in the final stanza. Shepherd hit her final two bombs in the last frame.
LCC coach Katie Krieg praised the balance of her team.
“Kayla (Verhoff), she’ll make things happen for us. She’s starting to make that big jump and becoming more of an elite player. So, it’s really nice when she can step up and hit those shots. And Natalie (Snider) was almost our leading scorer, off of two quarters (of action). So, it was nice to see her come in and make shots.
“With Sydney (Mohler), the majority of the time, she’s just a rebounder and a good defensive player for us. Once in awhile, she’ll chip in with eight or 10 points. But, we really look for her to be strong on the boards and then everybody else kind of takes care of the scoring. It’s nice, having that balance. It makes it hard for teams to guard us. When they focus on one person, we have four other people who can shoot,” Krieg said.
For the game, LCC shot 42 percent from the field. Shawnee connected on 28 percent of its field goal attempts.
LCC won the battle on the boards, 37-30. In the turnover department, Shawnee turned it over 20 times, while LCC committed 19 miscues.
LCC was 10-of-13 from the free throw line, while Shawnee was just 4-of-13 from the charity stripe.
Moss said it all comes down to execution for his squad.
“I think we got good looks. …We got plenty of looks. We didn’t shoot over 40 percent at any level, whether it was with two-pointers, 3-pointers or even on our free throws. So, that makes a difference. We have to hit some shots. I think when we miss shots like we did, we tighten up, offensively,” he said.