LIMA — Lima Central Catholic’s Rosie Williams is now the No. 1 rebounder in LCC girls basketball history.
But there wasn’t much time for celebration when it happened.
Williams and her teammates were trying to navigate a way around Shawnee shot blocker Trinity Gearing.
LCC pulled away at the end to post a 35-28 girls basketball victory against Shawnee on Saturday at Herr Gymnasium.
The senior Williams passed Jenny Pitson’s career rebounding total of 812 in the second quarter to become the LCC girls basketball career rebounding leader.
“She was a good rebounder from Day 1,” LCC coach Ron Williams said. “Where she’s gotten a lot better is with her moves down low.’’
Added Rosie Williams, “I never would have thought I would come here and break a record. That’s pretty awesome.’’
The game was tight until the final minutes when LCC scored the final nine points.
LCC stands 5-4. Shawnee is 1-7.
Williams finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.
LCC freshman Olivia Stolly had 13 points and six rebounds.
Gearing was a blocking machine, with eight blocks for Shawnee. She also had five points and six rebounds.
“She does a great job down there,” Shawnee coach Rachel Rumbaugh said. “She plays great help-side (defense).’’
Hailee Conrad led the Indians with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Tessa Jordan and Kennedy Jensen both had five rebounds for Shawnee.
Neither team shot well, but the difference was at the foul line.
LCC hit 16 of 21 at the foul line, including knocking down 10 of 12 in the final quarter.
“We talked about in the offseason that we lost some games last year when free throws ended up costing us,” coach Williams said. “We knew we were a better free-throw shooting team this year. We said there would be some games we would win because of free-throw shooting and tonight was one of them.’’
The game was tied at 13 at the half and again at 23 after three quarters.
LCC made a few adjustments to Gearing down the stretch, but there was no doubt she helped negate LCC’s inside and driving game to the basket.
“Our whole team was thinking about that shot blocker,” coach Williams said. “We were trying to do some things where we got the ball inside, then kick it back out for open shots, but we just had one of those days where we weren’t making any of our threes.’’
Rosie Williams added, “I kept telling myself and the team, you have to pump fake and she’s going to jump. I wanted to pump fake and go because she blocks most shots.’’
Shawnee took the lead 28-26 on a 3-pointer by Paige Maxwell with 2:52 to go.
But that would be the final time the Indians would score.
Shawnee had two critical turnovers in the final 1:50 and LCC continued to hit its free throws.
“We turned the ball over at some pretty crucial moments,” Rumbaugh said. “We had turnovers when we needed to score. I think the pressure really got to us.’’
Williams’ layup tied the game at 28 with 2:32.
Williams was then fouled inside and dropped two free throws to give the T-Birds the lead to stay 30-28 with 2:08 left.
Erin Mulcahy then hit two free throws for the T-Birds and it was 32-28 LCC with 1:05 left.
When Stolly hit two free throws off the double bonus it was 34-28 LCC with 30 seconds to go.
Williams hit one of two shots at the line to make it 35-28 with 10 seconds to play.
“We came in confident and that’s what you have to do when you step up to the line,’’ Rosie Williams said.
Shawnee won the boards 36-32.
LCC shot only 20 percent from the field and was 3 of 15 on 3-pointers.
Shawnee hit 26 percent from the field and was 2 of 7 on threes.
Shawnee had 17 turnovers, while LCC had 12.
“I’ll take it for sure,” coach Williams said. “We played good defense. That’s two games in a row where we’ve won with our man-to-man defense.’’
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