Lima Senior continued its dominance in the annual Lima Cup game after the Spartans downed Lima Central Catholic 67-45 Saturday night.
This marks the sixth straight year the Spartans have hoisted the coveted trophy.
With the win, Lima Senior extended its win streak to four and improved to 13-2 on the season. LCC falls to 9-8 for the year.
Defense once again paved the way to the Spartan victory and it began from the opening tip off. The Spartans charged out to a 12-0 lead to open the game by forcing Thunderbird miscues and making easy transition buckets. LCC did not score its first point until the 3:01 mark of the first period. The Thunderbirds’ lone bucket came with 21 seconds in the first quarter.
Hurting LCC early was Rossy Moore picking up two quick fouls in the first three minutes of the game.
In the first quarter, LCC committed 12 turnovers.
“We just wanted to send a message early,” Lima Senior head coach Quincey Simpson said. “We are going to send a message early that you have to prove that you are going to sustain our pressure. Period. Everybody knows how we play. I think our guys were a little more excited because it was local team so our pressure definitely affected them early.”
Things improved a little offensively for LCC but the Spartans continued its defensive pressure and the Thunderbirds did little to dent the Lima Senior lead and by halftime held a 33-16 advantage.
Offensively, the Spartans saw another well-balanced attack with two players breaking the double digit barrier. Camren Miles, who had been out the last two games with an injury, returned to lineup to lead the Spartans in scoring with 20 points. Khalil Luster chipped in 11 points.
“Definitely good to have Cam back,” Simpson said. “We are going to play it smart with him. It was good to have him back. He is nowhere near to 100 percent but even he is still locked in defensively and the way we wanted to play.”
In the second half, the closest LCC got was within 12 points late in the third quarter but never got the lead under single digits.
LCC’s Brian Hines finished with 19 points and eight rebounds. Lima Senior held Thunderbird leading scorer Rossy Moore to three points and they all came in the fourth quarter.
With a fourth straight victory and some big wins that saw the Spartans win by an average of 24.5 points, Simpson said the team is heading in the right direction. Also in those four games, the Spartans have scored 64 or more points.
“In order to finish the season strong as a coach we have to be certain that our defense needs to be where it needs to be,” Simpson said. “We need to rotate a little better but the thing is we get a week off and fix some of those gaps and areas that we need to.”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.