When Delphos St. John’s and Lima Central Catholic play their annual rivalry game in boys basketball it is a game filled with tradition.
But if what has happened two of the last three years is becoming yet another tradition, St. John’s might be in favor of it and LCC would definitely be against it.
The Blue Jays’ 56-48 win over the Thunderbirds on Sunday was the second time in the last three years they’ve won in overtime against LCC. Two years ago, they won 48-46 in double overtime.
“I told our guys before the overtime started we’ve played overtime a lot with these guys and we’ve found a way. I told them, ‘Tonight, we’re going to find another way to get it done,’ ” St. John’s coach Aaron Elwer said.
“We took a big shot (from LCC), we regrouped and I thought we played really well in the overtime,” he said.
Brady Parrish scored 15 points and Brady Grothaus and Aiden Rode had 14 points for St. John’s (9-0). Evan Unruh led LCC (5-5) with 15 points and Biggz Johnson had 10 points.
LCC led by one point, 21-20, at halftime but fell behind by eight points, 43-35, with seven minutes left in the game.
Defensive pressure that produced six St. John’s turnover in the fourth quarter helped bring the Thunderbirds back into the game, though.
Johnson’s 3-pointer with 54 seconds left in the fourth quarter tied the game at 46-46 and it stayed that way heading into overtime.
The overtime was all about St. John’s, though. LCC missed all four of its field goal attempts and was outscored 10-2.
It was the second tough loss in a little over 24 hours for the Thunderbirds, who lost 56-55 to Perry on Saturday afternoon.
“We put ourselves in a situation to win and, unfortunately we haven’t found a way to win those close games,” LCC coach Frank Kill said. “I thought it was a good game, we just didn’t make shots.”
St. John’s shot 58 percent on field goals (22 of 38) in the game and 74 percent (14 of 19) in the second half and the overtime. LCC shot 37 percent (18 of 48). The Blue Jays had a 27-24 rebounding edge, led by Parrish with 11.
“I thought us running and making them play full speed ahead really wore them down. When we got back into it Parrish and Grothouse were off the floor. I thought that was an opportunity where we could exploit them But we used so much energy to get back into the game I thought our legs were dead in overtime,” Kill said.
“We were fighting an uphill battle. Right now, we’re emotionally drained. Hopefully, tomorrow is a new day,” he said.