LIMA — In most competitive basketball games, there are usually going to be runs made by both teams.
In Saturday’s annual girls matchup between Lima Senior and Lima Central Catholic, there were plenty of spurts made by both squads.
However, Lima Senior was able to muster up the final and decisive run late in the fourth quarter, en route to a hard-fought 49-42 victory against LCC at Lima Senior.
Nakiya Sigman took things over for Lima Senior, especially down the stretch. The 5-foot, 4-inch point guard poured in a game-high 27 points, including three long-range 3-pointers. Sigman also came away with six rebounds and two steals.
In the fourth quarter, Sigman was a perfect 6 of 6 shooting from the free throw line.
“She’s a four-year starter at the point guard position,” Lima Senior head coach Vince Halliday said about Sigman. “On and off this year, she’s struggled at times, but today she was in a very good rhythm. She kind of carried us offensively, especially early in the game. Then in the second half, she closed it for us at the free throw line.”
Samya Wright had eight points and two steals for the Spartans (3-4).
Olivia Stolly led LCC (3-2) with 19 points and three steals. Kennedy Parker had 10 points, six rebounds and a block. Erin Mulcahy scored eight points and pulled down seven boards for the Thunderbirds.
Lima Senior got out of the gates quickly Saturday.
Wright canned a 3-pointer to jump-start the Spartans.
Lima Senior slipped out to a 13-10 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Sigman scored seven first-quarter points.
The Spartans sped up the pace in the first eight minutes, which helped lead to seven first-quarter turnovers for the T-Birds.
The score was knotted up twice in the second quarter, as the two teams went into the halftime break, tied at 24.
There were four lead changes in the third quarter before the Spartans finally slipped out to a 37-35 lead at the third stop.
In the final couple minutes of the game, the Spartans started to take control.
Late in the fourth quarter, Lima Senior’s sophomore post player Tillie Nelson, scored on a putback and was fouled. Nelson then made the free throw, which gave the Spartans a 42-40 lead.
“I kind of thought that maybe the play of the game for us, was when Ayrianna Engberg jacked that top-of-the-key three, after sitting on the bench for about nine minutes,” Halliday said. “But Tillie Nelson got an offensive rebound, a putback and then knocked down the free throw. I think that might have been the play of the game. … It was kind of the spark that we needed.”
From that juncture of the game, the Spartans closed it out at the charity stripe.
Coming into the fourth quarter, Lima Senior was 0 for 1 from the free throw line. In the final eight minutes, the Spartans were 8 of 9 from the charity stripe.
For the game, Lima Senior shot 33 percent from the field. LCC shot 42 percent.
Lima Senior committed 16 turnovers. LCC turned the ball over 23 times.
“We had some spurts where we turned the ball over,” Halliday said. “But that’s what is going to happen when you have some inexperienced people out there.”
Lima Senior held a 34-28 edge on the boards.
“Obviously without Cheyanne Bean (6-foot, senior post player) – she is a big part of what our success should be this year – and trying to play without her has been very tough. She is out with an injury,” Halliday said. “We’re also without Tiana Spivey, my second rebounder, who is out because of contact tracing. So, we’re really short-handed. But we hung in there pretty well.
“Kaytlynne Hile (three points) – even though she’s small, she had nine rebounds. Tillie Nelson had eight rebounds, which is her biggest rebound output of the year. So, we have some of these younger kids stepping up, when they’re getting the opportunity to play; and they have taken advantage of it.”
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.