LIMA — It was nearly suffocating.
Lima Senior’s defensive pressure nearly boiled over in Thursday night’s non-conference girls basketball game against visiting Shawnee.
The Spartans seemed to be in every Shawnee passing lane as they caused 39 Shawnee turnovers, en route to a 79-32 lop-sided victory over the Indians.
Lima Senior (2-1) had four players score in double figures. Destiny McDonald led all scorers with 27 points. McDonald, a 5-foot-5 senior, also had nine steals and four rebounds. Nakiya Sigman had 13 points, five steals and five assists. Lexi Williams scored 12 points, had seven rebounds and five steals. Ryann Miller added 11 points. Taja Haywood had eight points and four rebounds for the Spartans.
For Shawnee (0-3), Trinity Gearing led the way, scoring nine points and pulling down seven boards. Teammate Samya Wright added seven points.
“If we can pressure the basketball, turn them over and get out and run, we know we can be tough to beat,” Lima Senior coach Vince Halliday said. “And we did that tonight. We turned them over 24 times in the first half. I’m not sure what the number was, but I felt like about 17 to 20 of those (turnovers), we scored on. So, many of those were live ball pick sixes – where you just go out, get the turnover and get the basket. That really pumps us up.”
Lima Senior jumped out quickly, scoring the first eight points of the contest. The Spartans’ defensive pressure wreaked havoc, causing 12 turnovers in the first quarter. By the first stop, Lima Senior led 21-7.
McDonald scored nine points and made three steals in the first eight minutes of action.
The Spartans did not let up at the defensive end, as they forced 12 more turnovers in the second quarter. Lima Senior’s lead ballooned to 49-15 by the halftime break.
“I know Destiny (McDonald) reaps the rewards from the press, but she also causes a lot of that,” Halliday said. “Some of the steals that aren’t hers, she started, because she put the pressure on the ball. She causes a lot of deflections, and she’s the fastest girl in the gym. That’s our style of basketball and it worked really well tonight.”
Lima Senior, on the other hand, turned the ball over just eight times on the night.
For the game, Lima Senior shot 43 percent from the field. Shawnee connected on 32 percent of its field goal attempts.
Lima Senior also won the boards, 39-34.
Lima Senior connected on 13 of 23 shots from the free throw line. Shawnee was 9 of 18 from the charity stripe.
“We played really, really well,” Halliday said. “I was happy at the way we shared it, and how we threw it ahead and how we finished at the rim. It was just an outstanding effort by us. We’re very proud of the girls.”
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0468.