DELPHOS — For much of the season, Lima Central Catholic has relied on Rossy Moore to deliver wins. Against Delphos St. John’s in the annual holy war confrontation, it was Meshaud Moore who came up big to give the Thunderbirds a thrilling 53-51 victory Tuesday night.
With the score tied at 51-51 with 24 seconds left, the Thunderbirds set up for the final shot and DeMar Foster, the T-Bird freshman, drove towards the hoop with the clock winding down. As he made his way to the bucket he drew the attention of the Blue Jay defenders and that is when Foster found Meshaud Moore underneath the basket for a layup with 2.8 seconds left for the go-ahead bucket.
Delphos did set up a final shot and nearly pulled off the miracle 3-pointer when the Blue Jays worked it to Landon Elwer on the right side of the shot but his fade away trey fell slightly short to give LCC the exciting win.
“It is a game of 32 minutes and when you come here to Delphos every possession counts,” LCC head coach Frank Kill said. “On that last possession is things we practice and what do we want to do. DeMar is a valuable piece of our puzzle but just wasn’t having the bestest game but we knew his capabilities and potential are so and Meshaud Moore had a great game so we knew if we got penetration Meshaud can finish around the rim.
“These guys haven’t really made the big plays but tonight is when you needed him and that lone hero needed to step up and give us the big play and I thought Meshaud gave us some great minutes.”
With the win, LCC, winners of four straight, improve to 8-5 on the season. Delphos drops to 3-8 for the year.
Despite not having a winning record, it was Delphos who came out of the gate ready for its longtime rivals and with excellent ball movement, solid defense and patience, built up a 13-10 lead after one period and then opened up a double-digit lead 28-18 with 3:18 remaining in the first half.
LCC trimmed the lead to 32-25 by halftime.
At the onset of the second half, LCC stepped up its defensive pressure and slowly began to chip away at the Blue Jays’ lead. Three consecutive turnovers coupled with a a 7-0 run allowed the T-Birds to know the score at 32-32 with 4:31 left in the third period.
LCC continued its defensive pressure and eventually grabbed the lead for the first time since the first quarter at the 1:12 mark when Meshaud Moore completed a 3-point play the old fashion way. That score stood up going into the final eight minutes.
In the third period, Delphos was 1 of 9 from the field and had six turnovers.
The two teams engaged in a tight see-saw battle in the final stanza as the game was tied four times. For the Blue Jay, Jason Gillespie came up big scoring all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter for Delphos. For LCC, Bryan Hines spearheaded the T-Bird offense with six of his 12 points in the final period.
Landon Grothaus, back for the Blue Jays, led the team in scoring with 12 points and Nolan Schwinnen finished 11.
In addition to Hines’ 12 points, Evan Unruh, who had a clutch 3-pointer in the fourth period, finished with 12 points. Rossy Moore ended the night with 10 points.
Kill gave credit to Delphos for containing Rossy Moore for much of the game and took advantage of the senior’s aggressive approach to the basket.
“Obviously,he has to be more disciplined to the hoop and running people over and it felt like he had the pads on like a St. John’s/LCC football game and this is is a game of basketball and you have to adjust and we fought and came into the halftime and made some adjustments,” Kill said. “We didn’t capitalize in terms of transition points but we just changed the tone and the tempo and it worked out.”