LIMA — Neither in the blink of an eye or the snap of finger seemed to do justice to how quickly the tempo of the Lima Central Catholic and Wapakoneta basketball game changed Saturday night at Msgr. Edward C. Herr Gymnasium.
After trailing early LCC stepped up the defense and the end result was a 76-49 win for the Thunderbirds that improved their record to 6-0.
The Redskins were successful in eating time up on each offensive possession early on and held a 10-8 lead over the T-Birds late in the first quarter.
LCC Frank Kill decided to change his defensive philosophy to a half court jump and trap and the result was two quick buckets for the T-Birds and a 13-11 lead after one period of play.
“they were running their offense and eating up time and we went to our run and jump,” Kill said. “All five guys picked it up and we came alive at the end of the first quarter.”
The momentum carried over to the second period and LCC went on to score the first 17 points of the quarter to blow out to a 30-10 lead. That run was followed a 13-9 end to the period and LCC had a 43-19 lead going to the half time break.
The tenacious LCC defense created 12 second quarter turnovers by Wapakoneta and many led to fast break lay-ups for the T-Birds.
“It was a favorable pace for us early but they are so quick and the game changed just like that,” Wapakoneta coach Doug Davis said. “Once they got a couple of turnovers it was like a feeding frenzy; they picked it up with their pressure and our turnovers led to fast break points for them.”
The Redskins were led by senior Ethan Good with a game 19 point effort. But he was the only Wapakoneta player to reach double digits scoring.
The Redskins (4-2) shot the ball as they connected on 53 percent from the floor on 14-of-26 shooting including 7-of-13 on 3-pointers. But 25 turnovers took away too many possessions and the opportunity to score.
The T-Birds would go on to outscore Wapakoneta 36-30 in the second half to account for the final margin of victory.
LCC, meanwhile, had great offensive balance with four players in double digits led by Dantez Walton with 17 points. Tre Cobbs added 15, Ethan O’Connor had a season high 14 points while Thomas Williams added a career high 12 points for the T-Birds.
“Both scoring balance and energy were there tonight; our defense made scoring opportunities for us.” Kill said. “We got to play everybody so that was good and our transition turned into a lay-up drill so good things will happen.”
LCC dominated the statistics as they committed only 12 turnovers compared to the 25 they forced Wapakoneta into, plus the T-Birds controlled the boards as they out-rebounded the Redskins by a 25-12 margin.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.