LIMA – Lima Senior played its best basketball early but the big excitement came long after the game was decided.
The Spartans rolled to a 79-46 boys basketball win over Van Wert on Saturday night, a win ignited by a 30-4 run at the start of the game.
The loudest cheers, though, came in the last five minutes of the game when Johnnie Wilson dropped in two 3-point shots.
Wilson, who was born with cerebral palsy, plays with sleeves on his right leg and hand.
The junior guard didn’t make the cut for the team but coach Quincey Simpson told him he could be a manager who had a spot on the roster.
In two earlier games, he put up several shots but they didn’t fall. Saturday night, he missed his first two attempts before hitting back-to-back left-handed threes.
Wilson said he’d been dreaming about a game like this “for a long time.”
“It was a good opportunity. I thank the coach for giving me an opportunity. It really felt great,” he said.
Simpson said, “Johnny has been around since Day One, since September. He has done everything these guys have done. It was time for him to have an opportunity to make some shots and I’m blessed that he was able to make a couple.”
Jaylin Thomas scored 17 points to lead Lima Senior (13-3). Josh Braun led Van Wert with 13 points.
The Cougars (6-11) missed 15 of their first 17 shots and turned the ball over eight times in the first quarter. By the time they recovered a little, Lima Senior was in total control of the game.
Van Wert beat Lima Senior 60-58 last season, but Simpson said he never mentioned that.
“We don’t discuss what happened last year here. I’m sure the guys who were here last year remembered losing but we never had a conversation about it,” he said.