LIMA — There was no looking ahead for Lima Central Catholic.
The T-Birds came out and hit 7 of 10 on 3-pointers in the first half en route to a convincing 72-33 boys basketball victory over Bath Saturday at Herr Gymnasium.
LCC (13-1) now meets Lima Senior on Tuesday night in a much anticipated matchup.
“I thought it was a great win for everybody, including the bottom five guys who don’t normally play a lot,” LCC coach Frank Kill said. “I talked about not looking at Tuesday. I told them it’s been since April since the city of Lima has been talking about this game. We know what’s on the line. The reality is it’s one game in 22. I hope it’s a good game.”
Added LCC’s Nick Taflinger, “The whole city has been waiting for this (the Lima Senior game). We’ll have to come ready.”
Dantez Walton led LCC with 19 points and six rebounds, including three 3-pointers. Josh Dixon scored 16 points. Taflinger scored eight with two 3-pointers.
For the night, LCC hit 9 of 16 on threes, mostly over and around the Bath 3-2 zone.
“We worked very hard on getting the ball inside to Jake (Williams) and Dantez, which allows the outside to open up,” Kill said. “Jake and Dantez are really good inside and the only way you can stop them is to double-team them. When that happens, it leaves someone open.”
Bath is 3-10.
“They were seven of 11 on threes in the first half,” Bath coach Shawn Allen said. “Our effort was great, but we’re having trouble scoring right now. You take away their inside game and they knock them down, that’s why they are a great team.”
LCC drained three 3-pointers in the first quarter, including two by Aidan O’Connor. O’Connor’s pair came in the heart of a 10-2 LCC run, which gave the T-Birds a 17-8 first-quarter lead.
Walton scored 12 points in the second quarter, including two 2-pointers, to help the T-Birds to a 39-16 halftime lead.
Taflinger also knocked down two 3-pointers in the second quarter, in which LCC outscored Bath 22-8 to take a 39-16 halftime lead.
“I think we did a good job of moving the ball and always make the unselfish play and always make the extra pass, which gives us an open shot,” Taflinger said. “We tried to get it inside, penetrate, then kick it to the open man.”
Defensively, LCC’s man defense held Bath in check.
LCC’s Jake Williams looked more comfortable with his right shoulder brace. He finished with six points and seven rebounds. He dislocated his right shoulder at Van Wert.
“Jake’s situation right now is mind over matter,” Kill said. “Once he gets going and gets comfortable, it’s a matter of time he’s back to 100 percent.”
LCC won the boards, 41-20.
“All in all, we played a pretty good lead for 32 minutes,” Kill said.