Boys basketball: Lima Senior falls in district final

MILLBURY — “Start the running clock,” were four words Lima Senior never expected to be on the receiving end of during its Division I district championship game against Perrysburg on Friday night at Lake High School.

But that’s exactly what the Spartans heard halfway through the fourth quarter of an 80-42 boys basketball loss to Perrysburg.

The Yellow Jackets (20-5) dominated the Spartans (17-8) about every way a basketball team can dominate.

It started with shooting 70 percent on field goals and hitting 11 3-pointers.

Austin Shultz, a 5-10 junior guard, led Perryburg with 21 points, including five 3-pointers. Matt Watkins added 15 points. Isaiah Wilson’s 19 points led Lima Senior and Brandon Moore had 10 points.

“You’ve got to give them credit, they made a lot of shots. They’d probably beat the Golden State Warriors shooting like that,” Lima Senior coach Quincey Simpson said.

“He (Perrysburg coach Dave Boyce) had his guys ready to play. Top to bottom they were the better team tonight. We’ve had their number the last few years so I think his kids understood the assignment tonight.”

Lima Senior beat Perrysburg 53-45 in last year’s district championship game. The Spartans also prevailed in a district semifinal in 2021 and in a district championship game in 2019.

So the Yellow Jackets were ready for a change of direction in this postseason rivalry.

“This is our third district final in four years. They beat us four years ago, they beat us last year in the the district final. We tried to climb to the top and we didn’t quite get there,” Boyce said.

“This year we said we were going to run right through them. We said forget that climbing we’re going right through them. We said we weren’t backing down,” he said.

Perrysburg led 29-19 at halftime after shooting 60 percent on field goals (12 of 20) in the first two quarters, including four 3-pointers.

It only got better in the second half when the Yellow Jackets hit 12 of their first 14 shots after halftime.

The lead hit 20 points, at 53-33, on a 3-pointer by Gavin Fenneken, in the final seconds of the third quarter.

It reached 30 points, at 67-37, on a hoop by Watkins with 4:50 to play and reached running clock territory, at 72-37, on a 3-pointer by by Matt McEwen. At its apogee, Perrysburg’s lead hit 40 points, at 80-40.

“Once we got a certain lead it made it a little easier to shoot. But we hit some big ones when it mattered, there’s no doubt about it,” Boyce said.

The loss broke a streak of four consecutive district championships by Lima Senior.

One other area where Perrysburg had an advantage was in experience. Lima Senior’s lineup is very different from last year. Anthony Mosley, who had four points in last year’s game, is the only player on this year’s Spartans roster who scored a year ago.

Four of Perrysburg’s returning players combined for a total of 25 points in last year’s game.


Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.

Jim Naveau
Jim Naveau has covered local and high school sports for The Lima News since 1978 and Ohio State football since 1992. His OSU coverage appears in more than 30 newspapers. Naveau, a Miami University graduate, also worked at the Greenville Advocate and the Piqua Daily Call. He has seen every boys state basketball tournament since 1977. Reach him at [email protected] or 567-242-0414.