LIMA — Celina was making it tough on Lima Central Catholic to get on a roll.
Then, the T-Birds’ leading scorer on the night, Tre Garner, went to bench with four fouls.
Enter LCC’s 1-2-2 press.
LCC’s pressure rescued the T-Birds and helped them to a 66-51 boys basketball victory over Celina at Herr Gymnasium.
The game was tied at 34 with just under six minutes left in the third quarter.
Garner then gave LCC then lead to stay 36-34 with 4:37 left in the third.
Six seconds later, Garner took a seat with foul No. 4.
And with LCC clinging to a 38-36 lead, the T-Birds rolled out their 1-2-2 press.
All of a sudden, the Celina turnovers came in bunches and LCC began converting them into fast-break points.
LCC ripped off a 9-0 run to pull out to a 47-36 lead.
Celina had nine turnovers in the third quarter.
“It was turnovers,” Celina coach Jay Imwalle said. “We turned it over four out of five possessions and you can’t do that against this team. We had live-ball turnovers in the third and you know they were going to convert. Live-ball turnovers kill you. And they hurt us on the offensive glass a little bit.’’
Added LCC coach Frank Kill, “I thought our zone press was really effective. Dominic Riepenhoff had a lot of important plays in that run and Rossy Moore, being the high-energy, high-impact guy that he is, gave us everything we needed to jump-start the quarter.’’
During that key run, Rossy Moore had seven points, with a three-point play.
That helped LCC take a 51-39 lead into the third quarter.
“We tried to press them and get as many turnovers as we could,” Moore said. “We’re a defensive team.
“It hurt when Tre got in foul trouble, but we have plenty of guys who can come off the bench and give us productive minutes. It was a team win and we had fun.’’
Celina battled back in the final quarter and got as close as 56-51 with 1:17 left.
But LCC scored the final 10 points of the game, with eight coming at the foul line, to close it out.
In the final 1:11, Moore hit 4 of 4 at the line, while Biggz Johnson hit 4 of 6.
“We played extremely hard, but we missed some pretty good looks,” Imwalle said. “Credit to them.’’
Garner led LCC with 15 points and seven boards, with five of his offensive rebounds coming on the offensive end.
Moore had 11 points and seven rebounds. Johnson scored 12 points, while Jeremy Allen had eight.
Brandon Yenser paced Celina with 15 points and three 3-pointers.
Austin Okeley had 11 points and Brett Schwieterman had eight.
LCC is 10-10. Celina is 5-16.
Both teams had 32 rebounds. LCC had the offensive-rebound edge, 17-14.
LCC shot only 2 of 13 on 3-pointers, while Celina hit 7 of 11 on threes.
But LCC forced Celina into 21 turnovers.
LCC led 16-10 after the first quarter.
Celina started the second quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers by Kaston Eichenauer and Okeley to tie the game at 16.
The T-Birds led 29-27 at the half.
“I thought our guys played a really good game together,” Kill said.
Added Moore, “Each game we’re getting better.’’
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.