ELIDA – One could certainly tell when Lima Senior’s Destiny McDonald was on the floor.
Every time the Lima Senior guard was on the floor, it was instant energy for the Spartans.
McDonald and the Spartans finished strong, as Lima Senior posted a 51-36 girls basketball victory over Spencerville in the first night of the Vicki Mauk Holiday Classic Thursday at the Elida Fieldhouse.
In the second game of the night, Lima Central Catholic pulled away from Elida 48-35.
LCC (5-5) will meet Lima Senior (8-3) in the championship game of the Vicki Mauk at 8 p.m. tonight at the Elida Fieldhouse.
In the 6 p.m. consolation game, Elida (2-6) will meet Spencerville (7-2).
This marks the 21st Mauk Classic. Lima Senior has won the last five.
Minster has won the most Mauk titles with eight.
McDonald led the Spartans with 20 points, seven assists and seven steals. She had nine points and several key assists in the final quarter.
“She’s what makes us go,” Lima Senior coach Vince Halliday said of McDonald. “She’s our energy and it starts on the defensive end.’’
Spencerville got within 32-24 when McDonald was on the bench with three fouls in the third quarter.
The Spartans’ Cheyanne Bean head nine points and eight rebounds.
Nakiya Sigman had eight points with two 3-pointers. Ajohlon Bullock had six points and nine rebounds.
Emma Leis had nine points and two 3-pointers to pace Spencerville.
Abbygayle Satterfield had eight points. Alex Carter had eight points and eight rebounds.
In the opener, Lima Senior led 18-3 after the first quarter and 25-17 at the half.
The Spartans cranked out its 2-2-1 press from the get-go and got five quick Spencerville turnovers in the first few minutes.
That helped the Spartans out to a 14-1 lead with 2:40 left in the first quarter.
Lima Senior continued to gobble turnovers and turn them into transition layups at the other end.
Lima Senior led 18-3 after the first quarter.
“The first quarter we were outstanding and we did a great job of closing the game in the fourth quarter,” Halliday said. … “And I think we relaxed (up 18-3) and we hadn’t played in 10 days and it really showed in the second and third quarter. We got sloppy with the basketball.’’
The Spartans forced nine first-quarter turnovers.
Spencerville regrouped at the quarter break and began getting the ball inside against the Spartans’ halfcourt defense.
The Bearcats ripped off a 10-2 run to get within 23-15 with 57 seconds left before the half.
“In the first quarter they came out really aggressive, we knew they were going to, and we didn’t respond all that well,” Spencerville coach Greg Ekis said. “Credit to our girls in the second quarter. We had to relax and make some shots.
“We wanted to get the ball inside and a lot of times that’s where our offense needs to start.’’
With McDonald on the bench for most of the third, the Bearcats got within 32-24.
The Bearcats closed to within six, 34-28, with 6:56 left.
McDonald returned and countered with driving layups and driving assists to Bean to help Lima Senior on an 8-0 run.
Just like that, the Spartans’ lead with 42-28 with 4:22 left.
Lima Senior won the boards 37-32.
Lima Senior shot 35 percent from the field, while Spencerville hit 35 percent.
The Bearcats had 21 turnovers, while Lima Senior had 10.
Lima Central Catholic 48,
Lima Central Catholic had an inside-outside game in the nightcap and it was too much for Elida.
LCC’s Rosie Williams supplied the bulk of the inside attack with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Also on the inside for the T-Birds was Jessica Wilker, who had eight points and nine rebounds.
On the outside was Mary Kelly Mulcahy, who had 11 points and knocked down three 3-pointers.
“We were able to get some other people involved tonight,” LCC coach Ron Williams said. “The other night we scored 36 points and 23 were from Rosie (Williams). Being able to get more people involved was a big help in that game.’’
Amira Freeman had 13 points for Elida.
Hayleigh Bacome and Cienna Kuhn both had eight points for the Bulldogs.
LCC dominated the boards, 37-18.
LCC led 15-7 after the first quarter and pushed the lead to 17-7 early in the second.
The T-Birds led 21-16 at the half.
“We knew everything they were going to do (offensively), but we didn’t execute our game plan like we should have,” Elida coach Roman Youngpeter said. “In the second half we kind of got winded a little bit. … And we said, ‘where are their shooters?’ ’’
Elida was within 37-31 just into the fourth quarter when LC ripped off an 11-2 run to pull out to a 48-33 lead.
During that key run, Williams had a putback, Wilker had a layup and Mulcahy sank a 3-pointer.
LCC starter Josie Mohler (four points) went down with a knee injury with 2:29 left in the second quarter and won’t be available tonight.