ELIDA — Welcome freshmen. Lima Senior is glad to see you.
Lima Senior’s two freshmen starters, Nakiya Sigman and Cheyanne Bean, played a huge part in the Spartans’ 65-56 girls basketball victory over Elida on Thursday in the first day of the Vicki Mauk Holiday Tournament.
Tinora defeated Lima Central Catholic in the first game of the day, 47-36.
Today’s consolation game, Elida (1-7) against LCC (0-10), will start at 4 p.m. today at Elida. The championship game, Lima Senior (5-5) against Tinora (6-5) will begin at 5:30 p.m.
It was just the fifth game of the year for the freshman Sigman, who had been out with a knee injury.
Sigman finished with 17 points, with three 3-pointers and eight assists. She also had four rebounds.
Sigman had 10 points by halftime to help Lima Senior to a 36-17 lead.
“I’ve been looking forward to coaching her for five years,” Lima Senior coach Vince Halliday said. “When she missed the beginning of the season, it put us kind of behind because we knew she was going to handle the ball 95 percent of the time. … We started 1-4, and now that she’s back we’re 4-1. She settles everyone down, and she makes everyone else better.’’
Bean, a 6-foot freshman, had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
“I appreciated her energy and her willingness to get the basketball,” Halliday said. “She finished in the paint.’’
Talor Washington had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Spartans. Destiny McDonald had 11 points and seven rebounds.
Hayleigh Bacome led Elida with 16 points and two 3-pointers. Shyah Wheeler had 11 points and four rebounds. Cienna Kuhn had 10 points and six rebounds. Amiah Jones had eight points for Elida.
Lima Senior came out running the floor at both ends and led 20-12 after the first quarter. The Spartans knocked down four 3-pointers in the first quarter, with Sigman hitting two.
Lima Senior was also taking it to the basket on a regular basis.
“The first half was about as good as we’ve played all year,” Halliday said.
Lima Senior’s lead grew to 55-32 after three quarters, but Elida battled back.
Elida outscored Lima Senior 22-7 to start the final quarter and got as close as 62-54 with 1:09 to go.
Wheeler, Bacome, Kuhn, Destiny Owens and Jones all played a big part in the comeback.
“We had other people step up today, which is only going to make us better,” Elida coach Chrissy Billiter said. “Our problem is putting 32 minutes together. … We’re always fighting back. We have to be the team that is up. But the second-half effort was great.’’
Elida also slowed down the Spartans’ running game in the final quarter with a variety of traps.
Bacome had 14 points in the second half, incuding two 3-pointers and numerous power drives to the basket.
Lima Senior won the boards 42-32.
Minster has won the most Vicki Mauk tourneys with nine. Lima Senior is second with four, including the last four tournaments.
Lima Central Catholic 36
Tinora jumped to a quick 9-1 lead and ran past LCC in the opening game of the Vicki Mauk Classic.
Rosie Williams (dislocated shoulder) returned for LCC after being out a month. Williams made a difference in establishing an inside game for the T-Birds. She finished with 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
But the T-Birds’ next closest scorer was Josie Mohler and Mary Kelly Mulcahy, both with eight points.
LCC is 0-10. Tinora is 6-5.
“I feel like we’re getting better in practices, but we’re stepping on the floor and not doing the things in practice,” LCC coach Ron Williams said. “I’ve got to get us better.’’
Tinora was led by guard Sarah Harris, who had 16 points with four 3-pointers.
Tinora won the boards 37-33.
Tinora led 22-14 at the half and 36-22 after three quarters.
Mulcahy hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and LCC got within 43-32 with 3:25 to go.
That was as close as the T-Birds would get.
Tinora had 23 turnovers. LCC had 17.
“We have to figure out a way to get the ball in the hole,” Williams said. “We’re averaging 28, 29 (points) a game. The last two we’ve scored 35, so that’s a little bit of an improvement. And that (Williams’ return) helps.’’