LIMA – Other than a hard-fought 4-point win over Toledo Rogers eight days ago, Lima Senior has not been seriously tested this season.
However, in Sunday’s matchup with Canton McKinley in the Coach Q Holiday Showcase, the Spartans were handed a mid-term exam by the Bulldogs.
After a highly-contested contest for nearly three quarters, Canton McKinley pulled away for an 82-70 victory over Lima Senior in boys basketball.
Jamir Simpson led Lima Senior (6-1) with 18 points, 13 rebounds and three assists. Josiah Fulcher had 15 points and seven boards. Jadakis Mack had 12 points and five rebounds. Dante Wheeler had nine points, including three 3-pointers.
Kobe Johnson led Canton McKinley (5-2) with 26 points. James McCullough had 17 points, including four 3-pointers. CJ Hall also had 17 points. Antwan Williams had 13 points for the Bulldogs.
“They beat us up on the glass,” Lima Senior coach Quincey Simpson said. “They were clearly the tougher team, and they were ready for the challenge. I don’t think us, overall, were ready to accept that challenge.”
The first quarter went back and forth as the lead changed hands five times, before McKinley pulled out with a 22-15 lead by the first stop.
The Spartans struggled, as they were 6 of 22 shooting from the field in the first eight minutes of action.
Johnson and Williams led the Bulldogs with eight first-quarter points each, including two 3-pointers apiece.
Lima Senior responded.
The Spartans went on an 8-3 run to start the second quarter.
With 5:23 left in the half, Simpson scored inside to cut the deficit to 2, 25-23.
Both teams found their range the rest of the half.
McKinley, behind the hot shooting of Johnson and Williams, slipped out with a 42-38 lead by the halftime break.
Johnson scored 17 first-half points, while Williams had 11. The Bulldogs connected seven times behind the 3-point line in the first half.
Fulcher led the Spartans in the first half with 11 points. Simpson had 10 points and seven boards in the half.
McKinley came out strong to begin the second half.
The Bulldogs quickly extended their lead to 9, 49-40, within the first two minutes of the quarter.
McCullough got hot in the third quarter, as he nailed three 3-pointers to lead the charge for McKinley.
McKinley closed out the third stanza strong for a 64-58 lead.
The Bulldogs were 9 of 15 from the floor in the third quarter.
For the game, Lima Senior shot 34 percent from the field. McKinley shot 58 percent from the floor.
The Spartans turned the ball over seven times, while McKinley turned it over 11 times.
“There’s an old saying in basketball, ‘Big time players make big time plays’,” Simpson said. “They had a few guys who made some big-time plays. You have to tip your hat to them.”
There were nine schools that participated in the two-day showcase, which consisted of six games on Saturday and six on Sunday.
Sunday was the 10th overall meeting between Lima Senior and Canton McKinley. Coming into Sunday’s matchup, Canton McKinley held a slight 5-4 edge in the all-time series.
Middletown 59, Elida 55
It came down to the wire.
Elida’s 2-3 zone defense slowed Middletown down.
However, the Middies made just enough plays down the stretch to stave off the Bulldogs for the 4-point victory Sunday afternoon at the Coach Q Showcase at Lima Senior.
Elida cut the Middletown lead to 2, twice in the final minute of the game, but the Middies were able to close it out.
“That’s a tough game,” longtime Elida coach Denny Thompson said. “We’re trying to play 7, 8 guys. We can’t go after teams for 32 minutes with 7 or 8 guys, especially against teams like that. So, our zone did what we needed it to do. It made them stand and we were able to keep the game, tempo-wise, where we needed it.”
Quan Moore led Elida (5-4) with 19 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Devon Barnett had 14 points and five boards for the Bulldogs.
Johrdon Mumford led Middletown (2-6) with 19 points and seven rebounds. Rob Thompson scored 17 points. Will Williams added 13 points and five boards for the Middies.
Middletown jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but Elida battled back.
The lead changed hands three times in the first quarter, before the score was knotted at 11 by the first stop.
Moore led Elida with five first-quarter points.
In the second stanza, the lead changed hands three more times, before Middletown slipped out with a 25-21 halftime advantage.
Moore led the Bulldogs in the first half with seven points, four rebounds and three blocks.
Elida was 9 of 22 shooting from the field in the first half. The Middies connected on 10 of 34 from the floor.
The Bulldogs turned the ball over 12 times in the first half.
Middletown pushed out to a 45-38 lead by the end of the third quarter.
Elida was 6 of 8 from the floor in the third stanza. The Middies were 7 of 15 from the field.
Elida cut it to 4, 55-51, with 1:14 left to play in the contest on two free throws by Moore.
The Bulldogs trailed 57-53 with 47 seconds left, after an inside move by Barnett.
Then, a put back by Barnett with 30 seconds left to play in regulation, pulled the Bulldogs within 2, 57-55.
With less than 20 seconds left to play and down 57-55, Elida had the basketball.
However, a five-second violation on Elida gave the ball back to Middletown with 12.9 seconds left to play in regulation.
Thompson, who drew a foul soon after, went to the free throw line and canned two shots to push the Middletown lead to 4.
For the game, Elida shot 45 percent from the field. Middletown connected on 40 percent of its field goal attempts.
Elida turned the ball over 20 times. Middletown turned it over 12 times on day.
“Turnovers in the first half prevented us from having the game right where we wanted it,” Thompson said. “And we’ve been doing better with turnovers, outside a few games.”