FINDLAY — Many basketball teams go into the postseason looking for a little tournament magic, but few find it.
Unfortunately for Lima Senior, it fell in line with the majority when it was beaten 55-42 by Perrysburg in its first-round game in the Division I boys basketball sectional at Liberty-Benton on Wednesday night.
Most of the same problems that hurt the Spartans (7-16) during the regular season appeared one more time in their final time on the court until next season.
It was a highly competitive game until the final four minutes of the third quarter. But then Perrysburg (14-8) began to pull away, a pattern Lima Senior had seen repeated often this season.
Lima Senior led 32-31 with five minutes left in the third quarter, but was outscored 24-10 the rest of the way.
“The first half, I thought we played really well. The second half, I didn’t think we played very well,” Lima Senior coach Shawn Allen said.
“I think the biggest thing is we had the same problems tonight we had the rest of the season. In different phases we were inconsistent. Defensively, we played well for a while but we missed a lot of shots,” he said.
“We missed three or four right around the basket. You can’t get any momentum if you can’t score. We missed some shots and we went away from some of the things we were doing.”
Shane Edwards, a 6-foot, 3-inch senior guard, led Perrysburg with 18 points, 16 of them in the first half. Nick Moschetti scored 14 points and Nate Patterson had 12 points.
Freshman Rico Stafford led Lima Senior with 17 points. The two leading scorers on the season, Devon Allen and Isiah Simpson, were held to around half their season averages, with Allen getting nine points and Simpson six.
Lima Senior jumped out to a 12-4 lead to begin the game, but with the help of four Spartans turnovers in the final three minutes of the opening quarter, the Yellow Jackets were out front 16-14 after one quarter.
The Spartans were down only one point, 27-26, at halftime before fading in the second half.
Perrysburg coach Dave Boyce gave his team’s defense much of the credit for the second half turnaround.
“We changed what we were doing on defense at halftime and I think that made a difference. We were pressuring them a little too much in the first half, pressuring them one way and we just played it a little more straight-up in the second half,” he said.
Lima Senior shot only 22 percent (5 of 23) in the second half after hitting 55 percent of its field goal attempts (11 of 20) in the first two quarters.
Lima Senior lost five games by six points or fewer and another in overtime this year, when it added four more wins than it had in a 3-18 season in 2011-12.
Allen thought it could have been a better season, but things never came together.
“It’s very frustrating. We had a lot of the pieces of the puzzle but we could never get the puzzle put together. Ever,” he said.
For Perrysburg, the tournament goes on with a Friday night matchup against Fremont Ross.
“We’re hoping to catch a little magic here at tournament time,” Boyce said.