TOLEDO — Maybe just a few words led to a lot of points for Lima Senior when a big third quarter sent the Spartans on their way to a 58-44 win over Perrysburg in a Division I boys basketball district championship game on Saturday afternoon at the University of Toledo.
The Spartans (21-4) led 29-21 at halftime, but a 13-0 run in the first five minutes of the second half put the game out of reach and made certain they were headed for a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. on Wednesday against Toledo Start at the University of Toledo.
Start (22-3) knocked off Toledo Whitmer 31-30 in the other district championship game at Toledo on Saturday.
“We got them out of the locker room a lot faster than normal. Normally when we come out of the locker room we’re a little sluggish. We wanted to get them out quick, get guys shooting and I think that helped us,” Lima Senior coach Quincey Simpson said.
Josiah Fulcher led Lima Senior with 20 points, 11 of them in the third quarter. Jermaine Daniel had 11 points. Perrysburg got 13 points from Jackson Sizemore and 12 from Ben Boros.
“At halftime Coach Q told us we had to keep attacking these guys, we had to wear them down. And that’s what we did. We kept pushing and attacking these guys,” Fulcher said.
“Q kept telling me to attack, attack and wear them down. We knew we had to keep attacking them because we had numbers on the bench. We weren’t aggressive enough attacking them in the first half,” he said.
Perrysburg turned the ball over 26 times in the game, including 9 in the third quarter and 8 in the second quarter.
“I thought our pressure gave them some problems. That was our objective coming in, to pressure the ball. I thought our pressure was pretty good tonight,” Simpson said.
Lima Senior jumped out to an early lead, but Perrysburg battled back and took its only lead of the afternoon, 18-17, halfway through the second quarter on a bucket by Harrison Hosler.
The Spartans bounced back to lead 29-21 at halftime, with all of the scoring coming from their guards in the first two quarters.
Five minutes into the second half, it was 42-21. Perrysburg’s first point in the second half came at the 2:56 mark of the third quarter on a free throw by Preston Evans.
Lima Senior is headed to the regional a year after going 12-12.
“Last year we were 12-12 but we lost six games by two points or less. It was a growing process. These guy have been sticking together like glue since Day 1. We love them, they love us. They allow us to coach them extremely hard. There are no egos and this is why we’re cutting down nets today,” Simpson said.
Asked to describe his team, the Lima Senior coach said, “Toughness. We predicate everything we do to being physical, being tough and being aggressive.”
Perrysburg discovered that in the third quarter when the Spartans pushed hard on defense and offense and sped the game up.
Now Lima Senior is pushing for a bigger goal.
“We have to keep pushing ourselves. We want to get to state,” Fulcher said.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.