LIMA — Lima Central Catholic had several huge opportunities down the stretch.
But each one was turned away by Kalida.
Kalida’s defense led the way in posting a 40-38 overtime win over LCC in a Wednesday night holiday game at Herr Gymnasium.
It marked the first meeting between Kalida and LCC in boys basketball since the 1989 regional tournament at Bowling Green State.
“It was a Christmas hangover,” LCC coach Frank Kill said. “But they (Kalida) played big, they played tough. And if we didn’t play smart and strong, we were going to get our tails whupped. And they whipped our tails tonight. … We didn’t score in transition. There were no transition points and we didn’t have any second-chance points.’’
Kalida’s Owen Recker gave Kalida the lead to stay 38-37 with 1:03 to go in overtime.
Kalida led 39-37 and LCC’s Tre Garner missed a spinning shot on the block and Laudick rebounded and was fouled.
Laudick’s foul shot gave Kalida a 40-37 lead with 15 seconds left.
LCC called timeout with 12 seconds and looked to Matthew Cecala at the top of the key. He was hounded and Cecala gave it up to Biggz Johnson, who missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds.
Garner was fouled on the rebound with 0.3 of one second left.
Garner’s first foul shot was good on the one-and-one to get LCC within 40-38.
His second shot slapped the backboard, but there wasn’t enough time for a putback and the horn sounded.
“We were real good defensively all night,” Kalida coach Ryan Stechschulte said. “It wasn’t the prettiest game.’’
LCC is 4-4. Kalida is 6-2.
Kalida won the rebounding battle, 29-19.
“That was huge for us,” Stechschulte said of the rebounding.
Trevor Lambert had 13 points and six rebounds for Kalida.
The 6-4 Recker had 12 points, five rebounds and held LCC’s 6-8 Mark Janowski in check.
“That was Owen Recker. He’s 6-4, 225 and a man,” Stechschulte said.
Grant Laudick had eight points and five rebounds.
Brendan Stolly played well at both ends for LCC. He had 12 points, five rebounds and three blocks.
Raoul Samaroo had eight points. Janowski had six points, five rebounds and four blocks. Garner had six points and three rebounds.
LCC led 33-30 with 3:03 left in regulation after Stolly blocked a shot, got the rebound and came down and was fouled on a fast-break layup. He made both free throws.
But the game was tied at 35 when LCC had the ball inbounds on the side with 3.7 seconds left. After three timeouts, LCC’s inbounds pass was stolen by Laudick on a dive on the floor.
That send the game into overtime.
The first half was a slow-down tempo game with both teams searching to solve the other’s defense.
Neither found the way early.
The game was tied at 8 after the first quarter. Both teams continually fired the ball around the perimeter looking for the key to down low.
In the second quarter, LCC’s Cecala hit a pair of long-range 3-pointers.
That helped the T-Birds take a 20-19 lead at the break.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.