FINDLAY — It was the 3-pointer that did it. Again.
Findlay’s 64-52 win over Lima Senior in boys basketball on Friday night wasn’t as close as the first game between the two teams this season when the Trojans won by a point on a three at the buzzer by Michael Clark.
But like that game, it was the 3-point shot that turned the game in Findlay’s direction on Friday.
Lima Senior played its best basketball of the night in the game’s first seven minutes when it jumped out to a 10-4 lead.
But that lead disappeared when Findlay got three 3-pointers in the final minute of the first quarter.
Each one settled gently into the net, but added together they hit with the force of a slam dunk.
Clark, who scored 21 points and made five 3-pointers to lead Findlay, had two of the long-range bombs and Braden Miller hit the other to give Findlay its first lead of the game.
And once the lead went away, Lima Senior never got it back.
“Any time you can hit threes in sequence, it’s not four points, it’s six and it gets everybody going. It’s like a dunk,” Lima Senior coach Shawn Allen said.
Findlay built its lead to 30-19 by halftime and Lima Senior never got closer than six points the rest of the way.
Joseph Davidson had 19 points and eight rebounds and Austin Gutting had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Trojans (14-8, 9-5 Three Rivers Athletic Conference).
Isiah Simpson and Devon Allen had 11 points for Lima Senior (7-15, 4-10 TRAC) and Ruben Flowers got 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
“We had a horrible start but we bounced back,” Findlay coach Jim Rucki said.
It wasn’t just the 3-pointers that began falling for Findlay, which shot 51 percent overall (22 of 43), after that bad start.
“We’ve been shooting the ball pretty well the last four or five games. That covers up a lot of mistakes and makes things look a lot better,” Rucki said.
Shooting was an issue for Lima Senior even when it got out to an early lead. The Spartans connected on only 34 percent of their field goal attempts (19 of 55).
The first half was especially difficult when eight of their 16 missed shots did not hit the rim, either because they were blocked, they came against intense defense pressure or they were just off target.
“Findlay played well. We played well for the first quarter. You can’t go possessions against them and not score,” Allen said.
Lima Senior will do a quick turnaround and play its tournament opener at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday in the Division I sectional against Perrysburg at Liberty-Benton High School.
“Everything stops and you have to start over right now. If we want to keep playing more than Tuesday, we are going to have to do some things,” Allen said. “I think we have a lot of the pieces. We just can’t always get all the pieces in synch for the whole games.”