SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — It was opening night for girls’ basketball and Lima Senior and Shawnee were both more than ready.
Both teams were able to play to their strengths and in the end the Indians took a home win over the Spartans by a final score of 65-62.
The Spartans were up tempo as much as possible and used a full court pressure defense to force the Indians into 28 turnovers in the game.
The Indians, on the other hand, wanted to go inside and they got big games from both 5-foot-10 senior Alissa Stahler (13 points) and 6-1 sophomore Trinity Gearing, who totaled 15 points in the contest.
Then Lima Senior forced those Shawnee turnovers while the Indians beat up the Spartans on the boards by a 46-30 margin.
The game was close through-out and came down to an exciting final minute of play.
Talor Washington tied the game for the Spartans at 61 each with a basket with 1:06 left to play. The Spartans then made one of two free throws to go up 62-61 with 22 seconds left in the game.
The Indians got a big basket off the missed free throw from Kerri Roberson to go back up 63-62 with only six seconds left to play. Eliyana Floyd then stole the in-bounds pass attempt by Lima Senior and hit a lay-up at the buzzer to account for the final margin of victory.
Lima Senior was led in scoring by Destiny McDonald who totaled a game-high 16 points. She was joined in double figure scoring by Taja Oglesbee (11 points) and Talor Washington (13 points).
“We did what we wanted to; we sped them up and forced turnovers.” Lima Senior coach Vince Halliday said. “We need those turnovers to lead to baskets for us and tonight they didn’t. They did a better job against our press in the second half plus they killed us on the glass but we still in a position to win the game.”
Lima Senior is looking for live ball turnovers when they can get the steal and fast break off of that steal. Many of the Indians turnovers were passes that sailed out of bound and allowed Shawnee to get back into their defensive sets.
The Indians placed three players in double digits led by Gearing (15), and Stahler and Ijah Austin who both added 13 points to the Shawnee attack. Grace O’Connor chipped with nine points on three 3-pointers in the contest.
“We had a lot of inexperience on the floor but I was impressed with how they came through tonight.” Shawnee coach Jeff Heistan said. “Our focus was to rebound and Trinity played phenomenal. Austin and Stahler played like seniors play.”
Both teams found out what it is like to play under pressure and that learning experience should give them good things to look forward to as the season progresses.