ELIDA—Elida wanted to get the last shot.
The Bulldogs got the last shot, but it didn’t come in the situation they had hoped for.
With just less than two minutes left, in a tied 58-58 game with Lima Senior, the Bulldogs began to run clock. As the clock continued to tick, Carly Stetler lifted a shot that bounced off the rim and into the hands of a Spartans’ defender with 9.5 seconds remaining.
On the subsequent possession, Lima Senior’s Indiya Benjamin passed the ball inside the paint to Shaquayla Johnson, who knocked down an easy go-ahead lay-up with just three seconds left.
Elida’s final long range heave went south of the net, giving the Spartans a narrow 60-58 nonleague victory at Elida Fieldhouse. One week ago, Lima Senior defeated Elida 73-60 in the same place.
“We didn’t want O’sha (Owens) taking the last shot, and we didn’t want a lay-up,” Lima Senior coach Vince Halliday said. “They held the ball a little longer than I thought they would, but we ended up coming down with a defensive rebound. We knew if we got one stop then we could call a timeout and figure it out from there.”
O’sha Owens was a force for Elida in the second half, and finished with 21 points. She shot 9-for-15 from the field, and hit three 3-pointers.
Lima Senior’s offense was kick-started early by Benjamin, who had nine points in the first quarter and finished with 18 points. Also finishing with 18 points for the Spartans was Stacia Allen, who hit 5 of 14 3-point attempts in the game.
“That’s what (Allen) does, she’s here to shoot the ball,” Halliday said. “A couple of her shots were from a little deeper than I’d like to see, but that element of the game creates the spacing we need and it creates opportunities for other players.”
Elida’s offense in the first half was paced by Torie McAdams’ inside shooting. McAdams finished with 10 of her 12 total points in the first half, she also had nine rebounds. In the second half, the Spartans defense grew tighter on McAdams, allowing for players like Owens and Kylie Downton to get penetration to set up high-percentage shots. Downton finished with 11 points for the Bulldogs.
“We had a game plan,” Elida co-coach Chrissy Billiter said. “We’ve had a good week of practice since playing them last Saturday, and our girls did a good job. Lima Senior’s a very good team, and I give kudos to our girls for running the game plan and staying focused.”
Elida co-coach Elise Jenkins commented on the final minutes of the game.
“We didn’t know what defense they were going to come out in,” Jenkins said. “We thought they might run a man-to-man, and in that case we were just trying to hold the ball and get the last shot. I thought O’sha went a little too soon, but if we would’ve come down with the rebound, we would have been able to kick it outside and that would’ve been a positive.”
Lima Senior’s record improves to 7-5, while Elida is 6-5.