FINDLAY— Lima Senior’s versatility was on full display against Findlay Saturday night.
The Spartans’ team effort on offense, on the boards and on defense propelled them to a 70-53 victory over the Trojans in a big Three Rivers Athletic Conference clash.
Lima Senior improves to 8-1 on the season and 2-0 in the TRAC. Findlay falls to 7-2 for the year and 2-1 in conference.
“They listened to the game plan and we did not want to come out firing from long distance but we also wanted to take some smart shots. We don’t want to pass up shots,” Lima Senior head coach Quincey Simpson said. “That is not how we play. We want our guys taking smart, confident shots with open looks and I thought we did. I thought it was a slow first quarter but our defense generated some offense for us.”
Offensively, Camren Miles led the Spartans with 17 points and Jareon Mayo added 16 points as eight different Lima Senior players scored. Kahlil Luster, who had three big 3-pointers in the second quarter ended up with nine, and Jainaz Cameron had eight second half points.
Defensively, the Spartan defense, spearheaded by Jourdyn Rawlins, forced the Trojans into a multitude of turnovers that allowed Lima Senior to gain control of the game in the second period. Rawlins was also the team’s top rebounder with nine caroms on the night.
After a tight first quarter, Lima Senior led 14-10, going into the second stanza.
However, an 11-1 run by the Spartans, highlighted by a pair of treys from Luster and another 3-pointer by Miles, gave Lima Senior a 25-13 lead at the 4:59 mark.
Simpson admitted that at the onset they wanted to attack the Trojan zone defense but with some precision passing around the perimeter it allowed Luster to get some open looks and he took advantaged and drained his shot from long distance.
“We were a lot more patient and I am glad that we were,” Simpson said. “We would have liked to have our guards penetrate the gaps in the zone but we will go back, watch some films and learn some different things from that standpoint but I thought we were really patient and we had some poise and that is a part of growth for our team.”
A pair of Trojan buckets sliced the lead back to single digits, 25-17, with 3:35 left in the half but the Spartans onslaught was on and Lima Senior outscored Findlay, 12-2, to close out the first half and grab a 37-19 advantage going into the second half.
It appeared the Spartans were going to run away with this one when the Spartans opened up a 20-point lead 44-24 with 5:36 left in the third quarter but the Trojans, who have played catch-up throughout the year did it again.
Led by Brock Makrancy and Max Roth, Findlay went on a 17-4 run to slice the lead to 48-41 at the 2:03 mark.
By the time, the third period ended, Lima Senior owned a 54-41 lead going into the final eight minutes.
The Trojans never threatened in the fourth quarter as Lima Senior was content to trade buckets and cruise to the win.
“They made a bunch of shots and when they shot the ball like they did in the second quarter and hit some three’s we are going to have a tough time beating them,” Findlay head coach Jim Rucki said. “We need to be the team to shoot really well and in the first half we were zero for something in the first half maybe (2 of 6).
“They pressured us really well and got us out of stuff and we didn’t handle that really well. We couldn’t get an entry pass. We need to make sure that this makes us better because we didn’t do a good job of getting into what we wanted to run.
Findlay’s Makrancy finished with 18 points and teammate Max Roth chipped in 17 points.
Simpson said as the team continues to play more games the better they play as a unit.
“No disrespect to last year’s team but this group is no egos and everybody has bought in,” Simpson said. “They allow us to coach them hard. They want to defend and challenge each other night in and night out in practice and I think that carries over into the games and that is why we are able to wear some teams down.”