LIMA – Toledo Central Catholic had no answer for Indiya Benjamin.
So the Irish surveyed the situation and put the clamps on everyone else.
Lima Senior’s Indiya Benjamin tossed in 30 points, but it wasn’t enough as Toledo Central Catholic posted a 62-42 girls basketball victory over the Spartans Thursday at Lima Senior.
After Benjamin, the Spartans’ next highest scorer was Essence Cowan with four points.
The Spartans played the game without guard Stacia Allen (13.8 ppg), who didn’t dress because of a knee injury. Allen hopes to play Saturday, but will be re-evaluated this week.
The 5-foot-6 junior Benjamin hit four 3-pointers, along with numerous pull-up 15-footers and fast-break layups.
But the Irish countered with a balanced offense and pounded Lima Senior on the boards, 50-33, including 17-7 on the offensive end.
“Indiya played extremely hard tonight,” Lima Senior coach Vince Halliday said. “She was the only one who seemed to be ready from the beginning. Going into the game with Stacia being out, it takes everyone out of position.”
Toledo Central Catholic is 5-1, 4-1 in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference. Lima Senior is 4-2, 3-1 in the TRAC.
For the Irish, Deonna Murdock had 15 points, while Michelle Murnen had 15 points and nine rebounds. Murdock scored 13 of her 15 points in the second half, almost all from down low. Sydni Harmon added nine points and six rebounds for TCC.
Toledo Central Catholic took the lead to stay at 10-8 and led 13-10 after the first quarter. The Irish led 25-14 at the half, thanks to an 8-0 run to close the half.
TCC built its lead to 44-24 late in the third quarter. But Benjamin rallied Lima Senior with a 3-pointer and the Spartans got within 44-31 at the end of the third quarter.
That was as close as Lima Senior would get, as the Irish continued to get second and third shots.
“They just murdered us on the glass,” Halliday said. “The most disappointing thing for me was the offensive rebounds they got out of the free-throw situations.”
The Spartans start two freshmen in 5-foot-9 Rion Thompson (14.2 ppg) and 5-6 Cowan (10.4 ppg). Both have played well this season, but the Irish held Cowan to four points and Thompson to two.
Toledo’s sticky man-to-man defense had a lot to do with that.
“We emphasize our halfcourt defense,” Toledo Central Catholic coach Marty McGurk said. “We worked on that pretty hard all week. … I’ll live with Indiya getting 30 and the team getting 42 any day.”
Lima Senior shot 31 percent from the field and was 4 of 16 on 3-pointers. TCC shot 40 percent from the field and was 2 of 5 on threes.
Benjamin scored 18 in the second half and 11 in the third quarter, as she continued to power the Spartans’ running game.
“She’s real special and we knew she was going to get her points. She’s going to get points against anybody,” McGurk said. “The girl playing her was a really good defensive player.”