FOSTORIA — Toledo Start ended Lima Senior’s season last year in the Division I Northwest Sectional round.
This year Lima Senior returned the favor with a decisive 53-26 victory over Toledo to advance to the district semifinals against Perrysburg at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at Lake High School
This marks Lima Senior’s first sectional title in four years.
Lima Senior’s smothering defense and rebounding proved to be the difference in this year win as Lima continually disrputed anything Start was trying do offensively. Last year, Start scored 71 points against Lima Senior. Lima forced 22 Start turnovers.
Granted last year’s Start featured seven seniors with two Division I players, but Lima Senior Vince Halliday was happy to see how his team performed.
“I knew it was going to be a different game and last year they jumped on us right away,” Halliday said. “I was just glad we able to take them out of what they wanted to do and we did what we wanted to do.”
This mark the third time this year Lima Senior has held an opponent under 30 points.
Rebounding also played a big role in Lima Senior’s as the Spartans outrebounded Start 28-16.
“My biggest concern was controlling the glass,” Halliday said. “They are a big physical team and have three or four girls that can post you up and in the first half they had zero offensive rebounds. That really set the tone for what we do. That was huge.”
Lima Senior saw four different players grabd five or more rebounds. Ta’Lor Washington and Cheyenne Bean each had six and AJ Bullock and Taja Oglesbee each had five.
The Spartan’s biggest defensive stand came in the second quarter. Entering the second stanza, Lima Senior trailed 12-10 and Start looked to grab the momentum by scoring the first two baskets of the quarter to give the Toledo squad a 16-10 lead.
However, Lima Senior would respond with another 10-0 run to open the second half and it was spearheaded by junior Destiny McDonald who scored all 10 points that included a pair of 3-pointers to open the third quarter.
Start would end its nearly 10 minute scoring drought when they finally scored at the 4:07 mark of the third quarter.
McDonald led the way with 17 points and Nakiya Sigman and Oglesbee added 10 points.
Halliday said the team will revel in the celebration but must get prepared for a tough Perrysburg squad that is the No. 2 seed in the bracket.
Keyaire Burroughs was the lone Start player to break double-digits with 11 points.
“We are going to enjoy this tonight, get back in the lab and get ready for Perrysburg,” Halliday said. “Perrsyburg is really good so we have our work cut out for us but we have beaten good teams before.”