Lima Senior and Lakewood St. Edward traded leads throughout the championship game of the Kewpee Holiday Classic on Saturday night before the Spartans pulled away for a 77-74 win.
Josiah Fulcher scored 23 points, Jaleel King had 16 points and Jamir Simpson had 14 points and 8 rebounds for Lima Senior (5-1).
Demetrius Terry had 20 points for St. Edward (4-1).
Four free throws by Jadakis Mack in the last 17 seconds of the game clinched the game for Lima Senior.
“There was some adversity. We always emphasize basketball is a game of runs. We knew they would make a run. We also made a run and we knew they would make another one. I like the way we finished the game tonight,” Lima Senior coach Quincey Simpson said. “That’s a very good team we beat.”
Mack, who was 6 for 6 at the free throw line on the night said, “I just had to clear my mind and stay positive through everything,” Mack said. “I tried not to look at the score but I also tried to keep in mind I needed those free throws.”
Lima Senior coach Simpson said, “He’s one of our better shooters. He knocks them down in practice. You got to step up and make them count and he did that.”
Lima Senior found itself down 38-36 at halftime after leading by as many as nine points in the first quarter and by seven points early in the second quarter.
St. Edward caught up for the first time since the game was tied 13-13 halfway through the first quarter at 34-34 with 1:47 left in the second quarter on a hoop by Demetrius Terry. Lima Senior regained the lead on a two-pointer by Jaleel King, but St. Edward tied it on two free throws by Josiah Knight and went ahead 38-36 on an offensive rebound for a score by Terry.
Lima Senior missed 10 of its first 11 shots in the second quarter and hit just 4 of 15 shots it put up in that quarter. St. Edward had its own struggles with shooting but its problems came at the free throw line, where it was 8 of 18 in the first two quarters.
The Spartans’ lead was down to one point, 73-72, when Mack hit two free throws. Then, with St. Edward within one point, 75-74, he hit two more.
Fulcher was the tournament MVP. King and Simpson were on the All-tournament team.
Toledo Rogers won the third-place game 54-43 over Dayton Dunbar.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.