SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — A good start, a strong finish and a steady play throughout the middle of a game is a formula for success at every level of competition.
Lima Central Catholic’s girls basketball team used that exact formula Saturday afternoon when it defeated Shawnee 50-29 at Lappin Gymnasium.
The T-Birds got two early 3-pointers from Sydney Santaguida and Meredith Shepherd to grab a quick 6-0 lead they never relinquished. LCC hit 6-of-8 shots from the floor in that opening period to grab a 16-11 first quarter lead.
Shepherd finished the first period with 10 points en route to a career high 23-point effort in the contest.
“We were really pumped for the game and came out ready to play,” Shepherd said. “We worked the ball around and had really good ball movement.”
The T-Birds outscored the Indians 10-9 in the second and 7-4 in the third quarter to grab a 33-24 lead entering the final period of play.
Both teams struggled with turnovers as the T-Birds committed 22 in the game while the Indians finished with 20.
The third quarter was a display of futility as the Indians hit only 2-of-8 from the field (25 percent) while LCC was even worse at 1-of-11 (nine percent).
The T-Birds did find their shooting touch in the final quarter, connecting on 6-of-8 from the floor and 5-of-5 from the free throw line. That shooting effort allowed LCC to steadily pull away, outscoring the Indians 17-5 in the fourth quarter.
“That was the worst effort we have ever put on the floor since I’ve been coach,” Shawnee coach Jeff Heistan said. “We talked about finding Shepherd yet she had two uncontested 3s and 15 points in the first half.”
LCC was led by Shepherd’s career best 23-point effort while Santaguida and Sydney Mohler both chipped in with 12 points for the T-Birds.
“It was nice that Meredith was able to hit some shots; it took some pressure off when we started shooting the ball well,” LCC coach Katie Krieg said. “We wanted to make Shawnee play defense, and we worked the ball and got some good shots.”
Britt Lauck scored 10 points for Shawnee while Rayna Magee added eight points for the Indians.
“LCC played well and was very poised in what they were doing,” Heistan said. “We have been competitive all season, but I don’t know if we have the resolve to play through any type of adversity.”
LCC improved to 8-7 with the win while the Indians are 8-8 on the season.