After three inconsistent quarters, Lima Senior’s offense caught fire in the fourth quarter to pull away from Toledo St. John’s for a 57-49 boys basketball win on Tuesday night.
The Spartans, who connected on only 34 percent of their shots in the first three quarters, were 8 of 10 on field goals in the final eight minutes to raise their record to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference.
Josiah Fulcher scored 19 points and Jamir Simpson had 15 points. Toledo St. John’s (1-4, 1-2 in the TRAC) got 15 points from Payton Moyer and 11 points from Brady Lichtenberg.
Lima Senior coach Quincey Simpson said he was “not happy at all” with the Spartans’ performance.
“The energy wasn’t there, we were a step slow. We didn’t share the ball as well as we’ve been sharing it. We didn’t rebound the ball and get transition opportunities the way we should have and it showed. That’s why the game was a dog fight,” he said.
Lima Senior was up 22-16 at halftime and 31-30 after three quarters. St. John’s grabbed the lead at 32-31 in the first 30 seconds of the fourth quarter, but the Spartans regained the lead on a hoop by Simpson to make it 33-32 and never trailed again.
Fulcher had 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and Simpson had seven points in that quarter.
At halftime, the game was being played more at St. John’s pace than at Lima Senior’s.
If there was any doubt it would be a game of contrasting styles it was chased away early when Lima Senior didn’t off its first shot until 58 seconds into the game.
Early on, Lima Senior’s defensive pressure produced six first-quarter turnovers but it struggled to convert those into points at the offensive end when it shot only 3 of 12 on field goals in the first eight minutes.
St. John’s led 10-7 in the first minute of the second quarter but three 3-pointers in a span of just over two minutes allowed the Spartans to put some space between themselves and the Titans.
Fulcher started it with a three for a 12-10 lead with 6:24 left in the first half. Da’son Clair connected on another three on Lima Senior’s next possession and Simpson completed the run of threes a minute and a half later.
Lima Senior extended its lead to as many as eight points, 22-14, late in the first half.
Lima Senior was 8 of 25 on field goals in the first half and St. John’s was 7 of 22. St. John’s had 10 first-half turnovers to only three for Lima Senior. St. John’s had a 17-11 rebounding edge.