LIMA — Lima Senior coach Vince Halliday knew his Spartans were going to be undersized heading into Thursday’s matchup against Notre Dame Academy.
Notre Dame’s size down low and Lima Senior’s poor shooting was the key to Notre Dame’s 51-41 victory over Lima Senior in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference game at Lima Senior.
Lima Senior (6-5, 3-3 TRAC) shot 16-67 from the field.
“I’m extremely pleased with effort and how hard we played,” Halliday said. “We won the turnover battle, we won the rebounding battle against a tall team, but in the game of basketball you have to make shots and we didn’t do that tonight.”
Notre Dame (8-3, 5-0 TRAC) jumped out to an 8-0 lead to begin the game. Indiya Benjamin scored Lima Senior’s first points of the game with 3:59 left in the period. Benjamin led the Spartans on an 8-2 run by scoring four more points narrow the deficit 10-8 with 34 seconds left in the first.
Kaayla McIntyre responded with a layup and was also fouled on the play to give Notre Dame a 13-9 lead after one.
McIntyre proved to be the difference for Notre Dame in the second quarter. The 6-0 sophomore scored 10 points in the quarter as the Eagles outscored the Spartans 15-8 in the period. Notre Dame led 28-17 at the half.
“Coming into the game we knew we had a size advantage inside and they had a perimeter advantage so we knew it was going to be a battle of will,” Notre Dame coach Travis Galloway said. “I thought that Kaayla wasn’t very aggressive in the first quarter so we took her out and talked to her about that. She came out in the second quarter and performed and she showed tonight how good she could be.”
The third quarter was a back and forth affair with both teams scoring eight points. Notre Dame led 36-25 at the end of the third.
Being down 11 points to begin the final period, the Spartans were unable to close the gap.
Notre Dame’s Tierra Floyd went out of the game after hitting her head on the hardwood at the end of the third quarter and her sub, Kristen Schroeder came off of the bench and scored eight points in the fourth quarter to finish off Lima Senior.
McIntyre led all scorers with 22 points. Schroeder and Christy Ohlinger both chipped in with nine.
“I thought we did a good job of executing what we needed to execute,” Galloway said. “Lima Senior probably has the best one-two combo guards in our league for sure. I thought we did a good job of finding them and making it hard for them to score.”
Caterrion Thompson scored 13 points to lead Lima Senior. Benjamin finished with 11 while Imara Haynes pitched in with six.
Stacia Allen, who was face-guarded the whole night, was held to four points.
“Their gameplan coming out was to control Indiya on the dribble drive and they face-guarded Stacia to where she never got a good look,” Halliday said. “I’m real pleased with how hard we played. Notre Dame is a good team; they haven’t lost a game in our league in two years.”
Halliday pointed out that if his team executed even a little bit better from the field, the outcome could have been different.
“If we make shots, we have them,” Halliday said. “It’s a ten point game; we won the second half by a point. There are very few nights where we’re going to shoot the ball that bad. Despite the loss, that is the hardest effort we’ve played with and hopefully they understand that it’s how we have to play. If they do play that hard, we’re going to be much better in the second half of the season.”