LIMA – It was a special night at Tuesday’s Lima Senior home boys basketball game versus Toledo Whitmer.
At halftime, former Lima Senior girls standout Tammy Williams had her No. 32 jersey retired. It also was Senior Night.
Then following the halftime festivities, Lima Senior promptly retired Whitmer.
After slipping into the halftime break with a 49-35 lead over Whitmer, the Spartans came out in the second half and completely ran away from the Panthers for an 88-53 Three Rivers Athletic Conference victory.
The Spartans (15-3, 10-2 TRAC) were balanced, with five players scoring in double figures.
Xavier Simpson (19), Elijah Pughsley (18), Jaylin Thomas (17), Marquis Miller (12) and Ruben Flowers (10) led the way for Lima Senior. Pughsley had three 3-pointers, while Miller connected twice behind the arc.
Lima Senior shot the ball well, hitting 52 percent from the field.
Nick Witcher led Whitmer with 14 points.
The Spartans’ largest lead was 38 points, 86-48, with four minutes left to play.
Lima Senior’s defensive pressure wreaked havoc on Whitmer’s ball handlers. For the game, Whitmer (5-14, 2-10) committed 25 turnovers. Lima Senior turned the ball over 12 times on the night.
“We talked about getting better, defensively,” Lima Senior coach Quincey Simpson said. “I thought that sometimes we were a little too aggressive. …We weren’t rotating off the ball. But our effort was a lot better, defensively, than it has been.”
The Spartans led 24-10 by the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, both teams shot the ball extremely well. Whitmer made 11-of-13 from the field, while Lima Senior was 11-of-17.
Then in the third quarter, the Spartans began to pull away.
Pughsley hit two 3-pointers, while Simpson scored three times off fast breaks. By the third stop, the Spartans’ lead had ballooned to 74-43.
“We wanted to continue to play fast, but play smart,” Coach Simpson said about the second half. “We gave up some offensive rebounds, which I wasn’t happy with. But, I think we’ll get better.”
At halftime, Lima Senior honored Williams. Williams, a 1989 graduate of Lima Senior scored 1,453 points, dished out 347 assists and made 406 steals in her three seasons at the varsity level.
Williams earned second-team all-Ohio in 1988 and was a first team all-Ohio selection in 1989.
She went on to play collegiately at Northeast Oklahoma A&M Junior College from 1989-1991. She then finished out her college career, playing at DePaul University from 1991-1994.
Williams played semi-pro basketball from 1991-94. She then played professionally in Turkey during the 1996 season.
Williams had a brief stint at DePaul as an assistant coach from 1996-98.
Williams, who now lives in the Columbus area, was humbled about the honor.
“It’s so huge,” Williams said. “All my friends and family still live here in Lima. When I come home, it’s always good to see them. They’re always talking about my achievements on the basketball court. So, to be here tonight and to be honored in front of them was huge.”