LIMA — Lima Senior threw waves of pressure at Elida.
But when Elida needed it the most, the Bulldogs found a way to beat the press.
Elida built up a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter, then held on for a 55-54 boys basketball victory over Lima Senior Saturday at Lima Senior.
Elida is 9-0. Lima Senior is 5-5.
“I see it as 9-0,” Elida’s Isaac McAdams said. “And I think we can prove ourselves to other teams. There was some talk going on that we hadn’t played anyone. I see it as we took a step forward.’’
Elida had 16 turnovers, but broke the press when it had to early in the final quarter.
“It wasn’t a very well-played game by both teams,’’ Elida coach Denny Thompson said. “We were able to make enough plays, then we did hit a few key free throws down the stretch. … Every time out I kept saying, ‘They are going to keep coming at you and they sure did.’ ’’
McAdams scored 11 points in the final quarter, including many after the Bulldogs weaved their way through the press.
McAdams led Elida with 22 points.
“We had to play smart and handle the pressure,” McAdams said. “They’re quick so we had to search deep down inside to do what we practiced so we could get past their quickness and their pressure. … If we got the ball up the floor, they’re in business.’
Donte Johnson had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Daniel Unruh was in charge of breaking the press and had 14 points and seven rebounds.
“We were hoping if we could beat the first line of pressure we could attack the basket,” Thompson said. “And Donte played a nice, strong game for us tonight. He did a nice job of finishing at the basket tonight.’’
Jaleel King had 24 points and 17 rebounds for Lima Senior.
Greg Johnson and Jermaine Daniel both scored eight.
Jatsiel Colon, a 6-foot-8 senior, had four points with 14 rebounds.
“We gave up a couple of key plays (in the fourth quarter) and got beat long with a baseball pass,” Lima Senior coach Quincey Simpson said. “We gave up an uncontested layup. Those plays hurt. … But when you miss 16 free throws, that’s not good.’’
Lima Senior won the boards, 49-33.
Elida led 33-32 after three quarters, then with a few layups off the press breaker, built its lead to 47-38 with 2:48 to go.
Skyler Smith gave Elida the lead to stay 38-36 with a 3-pointer with 6:40 to go.
Back came the Spartans behind King, who scored 15 in the final quarter.
King’s free throw with nine seconds left got Lima Senior within 54-51.
Johnson’s free throw for Elida made it 55-51 with five seconds to go.
King sank a long 3-pointer just before the buzzer to make it 55-54.
Lima Senior was playing without guard B.J. Miller (coach’s decision). It was also missing because of injuries Jaleel Long and Jainaz Cameron.
“It makes us do everything differently when you have to sit him down (Miller),” Simpson said. “But I thought Da’san Clair did a tremendous job (at the point).’’
The first half was plenty of physical, but neither team shot well.
Elida led 11-9 after the first quarter and 19-18 at the half.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.