MILLBURY — Lima Senior needed a strong defensive effort to offset a sporadic shooting night and defeat Perrysburg 51-41 in the Division I district semifinal Thursday night.
The Spartans (18-4) with the win will take on Sylvania Northview in the district final at Lake Millbury High School at 2 p.m. Saturday. Perrysburg ended its year with an 11-12 mark.
Lima Senior head coach Quincey Simpson said he knew it was going to be a tough night when you face a familiar foe in Perrysburg who has also been a tournament regular for the Spartans in the past. Earlier in the season Lima Senior beat Perrysburg 62-46.
“It’s hard sometimes when you play a team twice in the same year and I think we play those guys every year in the tournament,” Simpson said. “He (Dave Byce Perrysburg boys basketball coach) has a good team and a good group of guys who play fundamental basketball and we didn’t expect it to be easy. It is tournament time and we knew it was going to be more about possessions and high percentage shots.”
The Spartans’ shooting woes began early as they scored only eight points in the first half but the Lima Senior defense kept it close and with the Spartans forcing turnovers it allowed them to overtake the Yellow Jackets in the second quarter and grab the lead, something they would not relinquish in the final 16 minutes.
The 41 points matches the lowest output Lima Senior has allowed an opponent to score this year.
“Any time we can hold a team to 41 points, or 10 points a quarter we think that is sufficient for us,” Simpson said. “There are things we didn’t do as well . We didn’t guard the post like we talked about but we will go back and break down film and have a quick turnaround and a long practice and prepare for a good Northview team.”
Going into the second half, Lima Senior owned a 27-18 lead and opened up double-digit leads twice in both the third and fourth quarters but the pesky Perrysburg squad kept coming back until the final buzzer.
“We had 14 turnovers at halftime and I didn’t think that many of them were forced,” Boyce said. “I just think we just dug a hole we couldn’t get out of.”
Perrysburg recorded 24 turnovers on the night.
Yellow Jackets’ Kannon Klusmeyer scored 11 points.
For the night, Lima Senior did not have a single player score in double digits. Three different Spartans, Khalil Luster, Jareon Mayo and Ant Mosely all scored eight points.
For the night, the Spartans were 5 of 14 from 3-point range and 10 of 21 from the free throw line.
Even thought they struggled offensively, Simpson remains confident this team can come up with points when necessary and said any number of players can score double digits but it is more about the wins than the stats.
“At this point all the awards are out. All the accolades are out. We just want to advance,” Simpson said. “We just want to make it about we instead of me.”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.