LIMA — Winning always is a good thing. Winning to end a losing streak is even better.
Lima Senior’s boys basketball team celebrated the end of a seven-game losing streak in a big way with a 67-43 win over Toledo St. Francis on Tuesday night.
Seniors Devon Allen and Isiah Simpson combined for 39 points to lead the Spartans (5-8, 3-5 TRAC) to the win, their first since Dec. 14.
Allen scored 21 points, 14 of them in the second half, after Simpson got 15 of his 18 points in the first two quarters. Both of them hit four 3-pointers.
Lima Senior had one of its best shooting nights of the season, hitting 52 percent on field goals, when it handed St. Francis its 13th loss in 14 games.
“We went through a tough stretch,” Allen said after the win. “We worked so hard every day and we knew we had the talent and we showed it earlier in the season.
“But it was just that seven-game stretch where we didn’t necessarily show it on the court. We got better but it wasn’t coming in wins and losses,” he said.
Lima Senior started the season with four wins in its first five games. After that came seven consecutive losses, four of them to state-ranked teams.
Simpson said, “That feels good after tough losses on the road and at home. It feels real good to get the win. I feel like we’ve got the team to win more than we’ve been doing.”
The Spartans forced 24 turnovers out of St. Francis, a team it beat 79-64 earlier this season.
Nine of those turnovers came in the first quarter, but Lima Senior didn’t convert those St. Francis mistakes into points in the early going and led only 13-12 after one quarter.
But a four-point lead three minutes into the second quarter became a 32-18 halftime edge when Simpson scored the Spartans’ final 10 points of the first half on a pair of threes and two drives to the hoop.
Lima Senior’s lead grew to as many as 27 points in the fourth quarter as it erased five weeks of frustration.
“We’ll take this win and we’ll go on,” Lima Senior coach Shawn Allen said. “I thought we played well most of the game. It wasn’t like we sneaked into one.
“St. Francis had trouble with pressure. They’ve had trouble with it all year and our kids did a pretty good job with that,” he said.
Lima Senior’s four big men combined for 15 points and 12 rebounds, led by Rico Stafford with eight points and Malik Bingmon and Justice Graham with five rebounds each.
“We took good shots, we got good open looks and we were better in the post,” Shawn Allen said.
Sharing in the celebration after the game started with sharing the ball, Devon Allen said.
“We shot the ball well tonight, it’s probably the best we shared the ball. We got a lot of open shots and open shots usually correlates to made shots,” he said.
Now the Spartans hope one win correlates into more of them the rest of the season.