First, Lima Senior’s defense made Toledo Central Catholic uncomfortable. Then it made the Fighting Irish unproductive.
The result was a 54-43 Lima Senior boys basketball win over Central Catholic on Tuesday night at Lima Senior that wasn’t quite as close as the final score made it look.
The Spartans led 39-20 after three quarters. They held Central Catholic to 7 of 29 shooting (24 percent) in the first three quarters and 36 percent for the game.
Lima Senior coach Quincey Simpson liked what he saw defensively and offensively from the Spartans.
“I thought our defense was really good. We sat down, we played really good gap help. We rebounded well and that led to us getting some easy opportunities at the other end,” Simpson said.
“I thought our energy was where it needed to be tonight. We were a lot more focused. I like how we shared the ball. I think we played a little too unselfishly at times. Guys are trusting each other more. That’s what you have to have.
“I thought for the first three quarters our defense was really on point. We didn’t press a whole lot, we didn’t gamble a lot. Making them uncomfortable, making those guys play with a hand in their face and a body on their body was one of our keys,” he said.
Josiah Fulcher led Lima Senior’s scoring with 16 points. Jamir Simpson had 13 points and Jaleel King was the Spartans’ leading rebounder with seven.
Jonzell Norrils led Toledo Central Catholic with 10 points.
Neither team got off to an especially fast start, but the difference was Lima Senior snapped out of it and Toledo Central Catholic didn’t.
The Fighting Irish missed 9 of their first 10 shots and 13 of their first 15 attempts. They also struggled early against against Lima Senior’s defensive pressure.
Lima Senior (13-3, 8-2 Three Rivers Athletic Conference) led 12-6 after one quarter and increased its lead to 27-14 at halftime. Simpson had 11 of his 13 points in the first two quarters and Josiah Fulcher scored 7 of his 15 points by halftime.
Toledo Central Catholic (11-7, 5-6 TRAC) shot 4 of 19 on field goals in the first half. Lima Senior was 11 of 25 (44 percent) on field goals in the first half.
Lima Senior has won its last 10 games against Toledo Central Catholic, dating back to the 2014-2015 season.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.