ST. MARYS — Lima Central Catholic turned the fire hose on Riverdale and blew it right out of St. Marys.
LCC ran up and down the floor and scored at will in a 94-39 victory over Riverdale in the Division III boys basketball sectional championship game Friday at St. Marys.
LCC point guard Josh Dixon led the way 21 points. Dantez Walton had 19 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Walton also had three 3-pointers. Cam White chipped in with 14 points off the bench.
LCC played without guard Tre Cobbs, who did not dress because of a left shoulder injury.
“I had to pick up the slack at the offensive end (with Cobbs out) to help our team to victory,” Dixon said. … “We wanted to do what we do, go out and play our game, play to our best potential and hope for the best.”
LCC (21-2) advances to the district semifinals against Coldwater (12-11) at 6:15 p.m. Thursday at Ohio Northern. Riverdale wraps up the year 6-18.
In the second sectional title game of the night, Coldwater knocked off Delphos Jefferson 62-53. Delphos Jefferson’s Trey Smith scored 10 points and broke the school career scoring record of 1,440 points held by Dustin Looser. Smith now has 1,448 points.
LCC’s quickness, speed and athletic ability took hold from the opening tap.
The T-Birds ran out to a 12-0 lead. Dixon scored six in that opening burst, on a putback and two fast-break layups.
“It was very important to get off to a good start,” Dixon said. “Losing Tre in the starting lineup, made us all step up.”
LCC led 19-10 after the first quarter and eight of its nine baskets came on layups.
“We came out with a lot intensity, then they called that timeout, then we let up,” LCC coach Frank Kill said. “We only had three first-half fouls and that wasn’t good enough because we weren’t aggressive enough. But we came on in the third quarter we threw a 1-2 haymaker and never let up. … For us to come out with the aggression and intensity for the last 16 minutes was very good, even the guys who came off the bench.”
LCC opened the second quarter on an 11-0 run to pull out to a 32-12 lead. The T-Birds and pressed and ran their way to a 41-20 halftime lead.
At the half, LCC had forced 14 Riverdale turnovers. Of LCC’s 17 first-half baskets, 14 came on layups.
Dixon racked up 17 points at the half, most coming off the break or drives to the basket.
“We got the rebounds and then hit the outlet,” Dixon said.
Kill added of Dixon, “He did it at both ends. He rebounded the ball well, he ran the floor well and he got us in our offense. For us, to step up the way he did, is not a surprise.
LCC outscored Riverdale 15-5 to start the third quarter to pull away with a 56-25 lead. During that stretch, Walton threw down a dunk that even had the Riverdale crowd applauding.
LCC won the boards, 39-19. The T-Birds shot 62 percent from the field.
Delphos Jefferson 53
Coldwater used its running game and a sticky man-to-man defense to hold down Delphos Jefferson.
Delphos Jefferson led 14-11 after the first quarter. But Coldwater went on a 15-2 run and pulled out to a 24-16 lead midway through the second quarter. The Cavaliers took the leady to stay 16-14 on a Derek Thobe 15-footer.
Andy Brunet, Coldwater’s 6-foot-8 center, had 16 points and six rebounds. Dylan Thobe had 14 points, with four 3-pointers, while Derek Thobe scored 12. Aaron Harlamert scored 11.
“We struggled on a lot of things tonight,” Delphos Jefferson coach Marc Smith said. “Their length in the press bothered us. … We didn’t have an answer for 6-8 (Brunet), but most teams don’t. And Trey (Smith) didn’t have his best night and that’s who we are and give them credit for that.”
Jace Stockwell paced Delphos Jefferson with 22 points. Dalton Hicks had 13 points, while Smith scored 10.
Smith, who had only two points after three quarters, broke the school career scoring record with a free throw with 5:59 to play. That gave him 1,441 career points, passing Dustin Looser.
“We didn’t come out with the intensity we needed to tonight,” Trey Smith said. “I would have liked to get this one. It’s been a while since we’ve been able to get out of sectionals. … I just didn’t come out with the intensity I needed to.”
Coldwater went with a straight man-to-man, but had several different players get close and face-guard Smith to hold him 16 points under his season scoring average of 26.
“And quite frankly we’ve seen a lot more physical play, but I want to give the opponent credit,” coach Smith said.