LIMA – The outcome was inevitable. That became apparent six minutes into Lima Central Catholic’s 66-33 win over Carey in a Divison III boys basketball district semifinal at Lima Senior.
The Thunderbirds (22-2) jumped out to a 17-0 lead to start the game, were up 33-5 halfway through the second quarter and had a 40-11 halftime lead.
At its greatest point, LCC’s margin hit 42 points late in the third quarter before the subs came on to play the fourth quarter.
Darius West had 13 points and 14 rebounds and Jake Williams scored 13 points to lead 11 players who scored for LCC.
Bryan Powers’ 13 points led Carey (17-7).
LCC’s win sets up a rematch with Spencerville, who shared the Northwest Conference championships with the Thunderbirds after beating them 51-39 on Feb. 8.
“We didn’t start off the way we wanted at the sectional finals and tonight was exactly what we wanted,” LCC coach Frank Kill said.
“For the most part, those first 16 minutes, you can’t ask much more from your team. Were we perfect? No. That’s what we have to fix for Saturday,” he said.
LCC built its 21-2 lead after one quarter on only 9 of 20 shooting. Where the Thunderbirds dominated most was on the boards, where they pulled down 55 rebounds in the game and 18 in the first quarter alone.
Ten of West’s 14 rebounds were on the offensive end and there were probably several more tips not included in that total.
“A guy like Darius West, his athleticism really stuck out tonight, just keeping balls alive,” Kill said.
While the game got a little sloppy at times, Kill said his instructions to the Thunderbirds focused on doing the things they wanted to do, regardless of the size of the lead.
“I said first things first. Don’t look at the scoreboard. Continue to do things we do. Don’t let the game get out of hand. We wanted to work on things that are possibly going to get us ready for Saturday.”
Spencerville has won 9 of its last 10 games. LCC has won five in a row since losing to the Bearcats.
“We know Saturday it is going to be a grind for 32 minutes. I think our guys have a little redemption they would like to serve up on Saturday. Tonight was a step in the right direction to set the tone for Saturday,” Kill said.
The LCC coach said he expects freshman guard Xavier Simpson, who missed Thursday’s game because of an injury, to be able to play Saturday.
LCC will sell tickets
Lima Central Catholic will sell tickets for its Saturday night district championship game against Spencerville from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. today in its business office and again from 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday.