ELIDA – The first game of the Tip Off Classic on Friday night at the Elida Fieldhouse was a one-sided 53-31 win by LCC, and it appeared the second game might be headed in the same direction when Elida built a 17-point lead halfway through the second quarter of its game against Shawnee.
But Shawnee re-wrote the script and came away with a 53-49 win to set up an LCC-Shawnee matchup in Saturday night’s championship game of the season-opening tournament.
Beckett Bertke scored 18 points, all but one of them in the second half, and had 10 rebounds to lead Shawnee. Nick Pasion scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers, and freshman Trevick Bertke had nine points in his first high school game.
David Etzkorn’s 16 points led Elida.
Shawnee’s comeback started late in the first half when it cut a 24-7 Elida lead to 11 points, at 30-19, by halftime.
“We got it down to 11 at halftime, and we talked about how we don’t have 11-point shots. We’re not going to go out there and knock down some shot that will get us 11 points. You have to do it possession by possession,” Shawnee coach Mark Triplett said.
Elida coach Matt Tabler said, “We got into a little foul trouble. They got some free throws to get them going. We tried to milk some clock with a little stall game. We were fortunate to come in with an 11-point lead at halftime.
“I don’t fault our kids’ effort. I really liked the fight in them. I think collectively our team defense in the second half wasn’t what it was in the first half. Our team defense was very solid in the first half, and it wasn’t as good in the second half.”
Not much seemed to keep Beckett Bertke, a 6-5 sophomore, from scoring in the second half. He was 6 of 7 on field goal attempts in that half after going 0 for 7 in the first half.
“I had my coaches and teammates walk up to me and say, ‘Keep shooting with confidence, they’re good,’ and that brought my confidence up and helped me regain myself and play with more fire,” he said.
“I think overall we just played more as a team (after falling behind by 17). We got into our sets and overall played harder in the second half.”
Shawnee shot 48 percent (12 of 25) on field goals after hitting only 28 percent in the first half (5 of 18). Elida was a 42 percent shooting team in the first half and dropped to 27 percent in the second half.
Lima Central Catholic 53, Bath 31
A huge second quarter gave the Thunderbirds a 31-11 lead at halftime, and they extended it to as many as 30 points late in the third quarter.
Parker Judy led LCC with 13 points, including three 3-pointers, and Jordan Priddy had 10 points. Zavier Trickle’s 13 points led Bath.
LCC had only a 14-9 lead after one quarter, and 6-5 post player Billy Bourk had picked up two quick fouls.
But a 10-0 run in the first three minutes of the second quarter, capped by a 3-pointer by Priddy, pushed the lead to 24-9 and put LCC solidly in control of the game.
The Wildcats had 12 turnovers in the first half, nine of them in the second quarter. And when they did beat the pressure in the first half, they struggled to put the ball in the basket, making only 4 of 21 shots in the first half, including 1 of 10 in the second quarter.
For the game, Bath shot 24 percent on field goals (10 of 41). LCC shot 41 percent on field goals overall (21 of 51) and 41 percent on 3-pointers (7 of 17).