Lima Senior jumped out to the lead at the start of its 63-47 girls basketball win over Lima Central Catholic on Saturday but that was just the warm-up act for what the Spartans did at the beginning of the second half.
By hitting their first seven shots of the second half and forcing more turnovers in the first five minutes of the third quarter than they had in the entire first half, the Spartans turned a close game into a blowout.
Lima Senior’s lead went from six points, 25-19, at halftime to 21 points at 43-22 in the first six minutes of the third quarter.
Nakiya Sigman led Lima Senior (3-4) with 23 points and Ajohlon Bullock scored 18 points, 10 of them in the third quarter. Cheyanne Bean had 10 rebounds. Rosie Williams had 17 points and Olivia Stolly scored 15 points for LCC (3-3).
“That third quarter was nice, wasn’t it?” Lima Senior coach Vince Halliday said. “At halftime we talked about setting the tone and picking up the defensive pressure full-court. I just felt like we played a little bit too slow in the first half. They can’t play with our speed.
“We turned them over and got a bunch of throw ahead lay-ups, which picks up the intensity when you get those easy scoring opportunities. Your defensive intensity picks up. A.J. (Bullock) was fantastic in the third quarter. She’s kind of that person who gets us going. When she gets going, everybody gets going.
“It’s a good local rivalry, a good team win and we’re back at it (in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference) when we host Fremont Ross,” he said.
LCC coach Ron Williams said, “They’re quicker, basically. They are just so quick.
“We told them (LCC’s players) the key was going to be handling pressure and keeping them from offensive rebounding. We did that for the first half and we were right in the game. They were just able to notch the pressure up a little bit (in the second half) and that kind of took us out of it,” he said. “They’re a good team. Look at the teams they’ve lost to (Marion Local, Bath, Liberty-Benton and Toledo Notre Dame).”
Lima Senior jumped out to a 10-3 lead to start the game but LCC battled back to take the lead for the only time in the game, at 14-13, in the first minute of the second quarter. Lima Senior went on an 8-0 run after that, though, and never let its lead drop below five points