FINDLAY — Findlay knew it had to do something different. It lost to Lima Senior by 28 on Jan. 31.
So the Trojans rolled out something close to a triangle-and-two.
It helped, but it wasn’t enough.
Lima Senior posted a 66-53 girls basketball victory over Findlay on Thursday at Findlay.
In spite of face guarding and following Lima Senior standouts Rion Thompson and Essence Cowan, both still came up big.
Thompson scored 23 points with five rebounds and two 3-pointers. Cowan had 19 points and knocked down four 3-pointers.
Others, who weren’t guarded, contributed, as well. Kierre James had eight points and four rebounds. Imara Haynes had four points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Asia Wilson had four points and seven rebounds.
“It was somewhat frustrating when they are guarding you man-to-man and everyone else is open,” Thompson said. “I’ve learned to play through it. If you pass the ball more, the more open people will get. And if we set screens for each other, that will get us open, as well.”
Lima Senior is 13-8, 6-7 in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference. Findlay is 8-12, 2-11 in the TRAC.
“We did a good job of sharing the ball,” Lima Senior coach Vince Halliday said. “And defensively, we were much better than we’ve been lately. We turned them over, got some easy opportunities and got some putbacks. Overall, I was pleased with our effort and intensity, and that hasn’t been the case the last couple of games.”
Findlay was led by Allison Taylor’s 14 points. It was her first game back after a knee injury. She wasn’t able to play against the Spartans the first time around.
Findlay coach Chris Ireland said his defense wasn’t exactly a triangle-and-two, it just looked that way. Emily Heiman face guarded Cowan and Marissa Wintrow guarded Thompson.
“We really face guarded their two best players with man and really didn’t guard two of their players,” Ireland said. “No. 23 (Thompson) did a great job and that’s why she’s a Division I player. She made some plays, got some space and made some shots. And we had girls in her face and you have to applaud her. … Thompson and Cowan are the two best guards in the league, I think.”
Thompson continually dribbled off screens and slipped her way down the side of the lane for a running 8-footer. Cowan spotted up and hit four 3-pointers, three in the first half.
Lima Senior led 20-15 early in the second quarter when it ripped off a 14-2 run, including a 10-0 burst. That put the Spartans ahead, 34-17. During that run, Cowan dropped in two 3-pointers and James scored four.
Lima Senior led 36-24 at the half and 54-36 after three quarters.
Lima Senior won the boards, 48-34.
Lima Senior’s numerous presses forced 15 Findlay turnovers.
“I think the 2-2-1 was working and the man,” Thompson said. “If we can guard our opponents straight up, it gives us more of a defensive push.”