Lima Senior’s defense delivers again.
The Spartans’ smothering defense kept Toledo Central Catholic’s offense in check and it helped Lima Seior to a 52-43 win over the Irish in a Three Rivers Athletic Conference clash Friday night.
With the win, the Spartans, winners of their last eight of nine, improve to 13-5 for the year and 7-5 in conference play. TCC falls to 14-4 for the year and 8-3 in the TRAC.
Earlier this year, TCC beat Lima Senior 67-61 back on Jan. 6. The Irish came into the game averaging a little more than 60 points a contest.
The 43 points given up is the lowest offensive output the Irish have had this year. This also marks the third straight contest, and last six out of seven, that the Spartans have held an opponent under 50 points.
“Our halfcourt defense has been really good,” Lima Senior head coach Quincey Simpson said. “We are going to pick it up full court once the tournament starts but right now we are working our rotations because we did not have that early in the year. We didn’t have a good experienced guys in the backcourt that knew how to get turns and get turnovers.
“Right now we are just trusting our halfcourt defense. Guys are sitting down and rebounding well and keeping guys out of the lane.”
Offensively, it was the Spartans version of the M&M boys, Brandon Moore and Anthony Mosley leading the charge Moore pumped in 15 points and he grabbed eight rebounds and Mosley had a double-double night with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Isaiah Wilson added 11 points.
“Ant has always been an undersized kid but he is a junk yard dog,” Simpson said. “We are going to as he goes. When he plays well, we play well. Brandon is just a guy that is a gym rat and has been waiting for his moments since he was a freshmen, playing behind older guys. He had to good game and we look to those two guys to lead us.”
Lima Senior, who never trailed in the game broke out to 10-4 lead after the first four minutes and by the end of the first period, the Spartans owned a 10-7 lead.
A stellar defensive performance in the second quarter helped Lima Senior break out to an 28-11 by halftime. In the pivotal second stanza, the Spartans held the Irish to four points.
Any change of a Spartan blowout evaporated in the third period when the Irish came storming with a 14-2 run to open the second half and with 2:25 left in the third period, TCC had sliced the lead to 30-25 with 2:25 showing on the clock. By the time the buzzer sounded for the final eight minutes, Lima Senior was up 35-28.
Lima senior quashed the TCC momentum with a 9-0 run to open the fourth quarter the Spartans held on for the victory.
Even though Lima Senior has seen a lot of success in the second half of the year, Simpson said there is still room for improvement as the Spartans enter the home stretch of the regular season
“There is some room for us to grow but we are fighting hard and we are holding each other accountable and guys are buying in more,” Simpson said. “I think the small things is what is helping us get these wins.”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.