ELIDA — Lima Senior’s girls look pretty comfortable inside the confines of the Elida Fieldhouse.
And why not?
For the fifth straight year Lima Senior came home with the championship of the Vicki Mauk girls basketball tournament with a 69-47 win over Tinora in the championship game Friday at the Elida Fieldhouse.
“For us, with the slow start this year, starting off 1-4 and with these back-to-back wins that gets us to 5-1 since (point guard) Nakiya (Sigman) has come back from the injury,” Lima Senior coach Vince Halliday said. “It’s a great way to end the 2017 portion of the year. We’re 6-5 now at the halfway point. Hopefully, we can continue this momentum and roll into 2018 and carry it on to the second half of the season.’’
Elida defeated Lima Central Catholic in the consolation game 47-39.
Tinora went out to a quick 13-11 start after the first quarter.
From there, Lima Senior’s zone press locked in and it was all rebound, run and drive to the hoop.
The Spartans outscored Tinora 13-0 in a second-quarter burst and grabbed a 33-22 lead at the half.
It was all Spartans after that.
“We went from the man-to-man to the diamond press and that really seemed to spark our energy level and turned them over a little bit,” Halliday said. “We got some easy scoring opportunities.’’
Lima Senior (6-5) was led by the driving of Destiny McDonald, who had 23 points, including 14 at the half.
“I was going to keep doing it (driving to the basket) until they stopped me,” McDonald said with a laugh.
Added Halliday, “Destiny McDonald was fantastic today. Nakiya (Sigman) was our floor general and in the second half had some unbelievable shake and bakes. … And Cheyanne (Bean) had a double-double.’’
Freshman point guard Nakiya Sigman had 15 points, five assists and four rebounds. It was her sixth game back from missing the first five games with a knee injury.
“It’s awesome and feels great to be back,” Sigman. “It’s five straight years (to win the Vicki Mauk) and this is just a boost of confidence as we go back in our conference play.’’
Six-foot freshman Cheyanne Bean had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Latoine Cowan had 11 points and three 3-pointers. Talor Washington had eight points and eight boards.
Named to the all-tournament team were Lima Senior’s Sigman, Bean and McDonald.
Joining them on the all-tournament team were Elida’s Shyah Wheeler and Tinora’s Sarah Harris, who scored 17 in the championship game.
Minster has won the most Vicki Mauk tourneys with nine.
Lima Senior is second with five, including the last five tournaments.
Lima Senior opened up the third quarter with an 11-5 run to pull out to a 44-27 lead.
Sigman scored nine of her points in the third quarter to help clinch the win. Many of those came on weaving, spinning layups through traffic.
Lima Senior won the boards 38-32.
The Spartans’ pressing defense forced 24 Tinora turnovers.
Elida 47, LCC 39
Every time Elida needed a big play, Shyah Wheeler was there to deliver.
Wheeler tossed in 28 points with 15 rebounds to power the Bulldogs to a victory over LCC.
Wheeler had 10 points in the second half, including five in the fourth quarter to hold off a late LCC charge
“We actually grew up a little bit because I don’t think we could have overcome that (a late LCC surge) before,” Elida coach Chrissy Billiter said.
Elida led 28-18 at the half and 38-29 after three quarters.
LCC rallied behind fourth second-half 3-pointers by freshman Mary Kelly Mulcahy.
Mulcahy’s fourth 3-pointer brought LCC within 38-34 with 5:55 to go.
Elida didn’t panic, however, and continued to get LCC in traps, at three-quarters and half court.
“They (the T-Birds) are young and we wanted to pass and trap them more,” Billiter said. “We picked up the pressure a little bit (when it was 38-34).’’
Wheeler hit a 7-footer and two free throws and the Elida lead went back to 43-36 with 2:34 to go.
Josie Mohler led LCC with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Mulcahy had 12 points on four 3-pointers.
Jessica Wilker had six points and four rebounds. Rosie Williams had four points and seven boards.
Hayleigh Bacome had six points for Elida.
LCC won the boards, 47-40.
Elida is 2-7. LCC is 0-11.
Wheeler started in a shooting rhythm and rolled in the first half.
By halftime she had 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.