Lima Senior came back from a big early deficit and came from behind in the fourth quarter to beat Toledo Rogers 71-67 in the championship game of the Kewpee Holiday Classic on Saturday night.
Josiah Fulcher, the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, scored 24 points, 21 of them in the second half to lead Lima Senior. Khalil Mack had 14 points, including 12 of 12 on free throws. Jadakis Mack scored 14 points and Jamir Simpson had nine points and 13 rebounds.
Rogers led 61-60 with 2 minutes left in the game. But a free throw by Fulcher tied the game and his steal for a hoop put Lima Senior ahead for good at 63-61 with 1:38 left in the game.
“What got us going (in the first half) was Jadakis Mack knocking down some shots,” Fulcher said. “Jourdyn Rawlins subbed in for us and played tremendous defense. Those two guys got us going. And we had to box out and not let them get offensive rebounds.”
Lima Senior coach Quincey Simpson said, “That was a tough game.”
The Toledo City League has suffered from a diminished reputation in terms of basketball in recent years but Simpson said he went in expecting a challege from the Rams.
“Those kids are in my AAU program. I know what kind of players they are. They played more physical than we did the first five or six minutes. We kind of took a back seat,” he said.
Lima Senior fell behind by as many as 11 points in the first quarter. Rogers opened the game by scoring nine unanswered points, then pushed its lead to 13-2 before the Spartans began to climb back into the game in a match-up of unbeaten teams.
Rogers led 17-11 after one quarter and Lima Senior trailed through the first 5 ½ minutes of the second quarter before Mack’s 3-pointer put Lima Senior up 24-22 with 2:38 left in the first half. The Spartans led 32-25 at halftime and were up 42-29 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter before Rogers put together a comeback of its own.
Rogers started a lineup of two 6-7 players, a 6-6 player, another who was 6-4 and a 6-3 player
In the first game on Saturday night, Kettering Fairmont defeated Maumee Valley Country Day 49-45.
Anthony Johnson scored 15 points and Keon Wright had 13 points to lead Fairmont, which improved its record to 3-5. Dez Jett’s 11 points led Maumee Valley, whose record dropped to 2-5.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.