Big plays and a big man made the difference for Lima Senior when it beat Lima Central Catholic 73-61 in boys basketball in their annual rivalry game for the Lima Cup on Tuesday night at LCC.
The Spartans (12-2) jumped out to a 9-0 lead to start the game and were never behind.
Josiah Fulcher scored 22 points to lead Lima Senior’s scoring but it was 6-5 senior Jamir Simpson who both coaches thought made the biggest difference in the game.
Simpson had 21 points and 11 rebounds and 15 of his points came in the second half.
“Jamir played extremely well inside. He’s hard to guard inside and he also can make shots from the outside. We believe he’s our match-up nightmare and he came through for us when we needed him,” Lima Senior coach Quincey Simpson said.
LCC coach Frank Kill said, “The big guy, Jamir Simpson, inside was the difference maker. He dominated us in the second half. We didn’t have a body to put on him because we needed about two or three. They have a man down low and we couldn’t guard him.”
Lima Senior led 34-25 at halftime and stretched its lead to 54-38 late in the third quarter on three consecutive 3-pointers by Jermaine Daniel, Da’san Clair and Fulcher.
LCC cut the margin to six points, 56-50, on back to back 3-pointers by Biggz Johnson early in the fourth quarter but that was as close as the Thunderbirds could get.
Johnson led LCC (8-7) with 22 points. Rossy Moore scored 15 points.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well. He (Kill) did a great job of having his guys be patient in the zone and we didn’t have a good shooting night. That’s the purpose of a zone, to make us shoot from the outside, and we didn’t go a good job of that,” Simpson said.
“We had some players make some plays at the end and we rebounded much better in the second half,” he said.
Kill said, “We played well. I’m not disappointed. It stinks that we lost but I’m proud of our guys.”
LCC shot 46 percent (22 of 48) on field goals and Lima Senior shot 44 percent (28 of 63). The Spartans had a 31-26 rebounding edge. LCC had 11 turnovers and Lima Senior had 12.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.