FOSTORIA — Maybe the only unexpected thing about Lima Senior’s 68-46 win over Toledo Bowsher in a Division I boys basketball sectional championship game on Friday night at Fostoria High School was what happened after the game was over.
The expectation was that the Spartans’ win would lead to a rematch with Findlay, a tie-breaker for the two Three Rivers Athletic Conference rivals who split their two regular-season games, in a district semifinal game next Thursday at the University of Toledo.
But Holland Springfield (11-12) ended the Trojans’ season by beating them 68-58 in the second sectional championship game at Fostoria on Friday night. Findlay (14-9) had won a regular-season game against the Blue Devils by one point.
Lima Senior ran out to a 19-3 lead against Bowsher in the first five minutes and was up 37-14 by halftime.
The Spartans (19-4) led by as many as 28 points in the third quarter and never let their advantage drop below 18 points in the final 20 minutes of the game. If there was a turning point, it was when Lima Senior’s bus turned into the parking lot.
Jamir Simpson scored 15 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and Josiah Fulcher scored 10 points. Eleven Lima Senior players scored. Damon Washington and Dre Williams each scored eight points to lead Bowsher (11-12).
Lima Senior had three dunks during its big first half. And all three of the players who dunked – Fulcher, Simpson and Jadakis Mack – also hit three pointers in the game.
“These guys came out with a lot of energy,” Lima Senior coach Quincey Simpson said.
“I thought their energy was predicated on Jadakis Mack. He’s been having a tremendous amount of energy all week in practice. I think it carried over and that’s why we had a fast start. He’s our motor guy, he’s been our motor guy all year. He brings a lot of energy daily in practice. But this week’s he’s just been an energy guy times 10 and we love it,” Simpson said.
Along with energy, Lima Senior’s fast start was built on a conscious effort to push the ball up the court.
“I thought our guys pushed the ball up the court a lot faster. We’ve been working on getting the ball up the court faster, passing the ball instead of dribbling, looking cross court and we did a better job. We’ve started doing it more the last couple weeks. We played very unselfish,” Simpson said.
He also liked the Spartans’ defense.
“In the tournament you’ve got to be able to rebound and you’ve got to be able to get stops. If you can make shots that’s a bonus. We’ve got a lot of guys who can play a lot of positions, we’ve got a lot of athleticism and think guys bought in a while ago to putting the team first and themselves second,” Simpson said.
Lima Senior will play Springfield at 6:15 p.m. Thursday at the University of Toledo in a Division I district semifinal. Sylvania Northview will play Perrysburg in Thursday’s other semifinal at UT at 8 p.m.