LIMA – Lima Central Catholic had a lot different look than when it met Shawnee in the Tip-Off Classic.
The T-Birds had DeMarr Foster back in the first half and finally looked healthy from football.
LCC built up a double-digit lead, then held off Shawnee 63-62 in a boys basketball game Wednesday at Msgr. Herr Gymnasium.
The two teams met earlier this year in the finals of the Elida Tip-Off Classic, with Shawnee posting a 68-60 victory, on Nov. 27.
“Last game when we played these guys we definitely were not at 100 percent,” LCC’s Carson Parker said. “We just came back from football and had a few injuries. I was beat up and it felt great finally being able to play my game and get to the rack.’’
Shawnee is 7-2. LCC is 5-4.
LCC led 43-31 at the half and led 48-34 early in the third quarter.
“Defensively, I thought our guys played strong as a unit and we made Shawnee work for every point they got,” LCC coach Frank Kill said.
But the Indians’ press-and-run game took hold and Shawnee took the lead 60-59 on a fast-break layup by Austin Miler.
“Our defensive energy was a lot better (in the second half),” Shawnee coach Mark Triplett said. “In the third quarter, we boxed out, we looked up the floor, we got to the rim and got our energy going because we got some stops. We gave up 20 points in the second half after we gave up 43 in the first half.
“They shot the ball really, really well and when they didn’t hit the first shot, they got the offensive rebounds.’’
LCC took the lead to stay 61-60 on a Carson Parker driving layup.
LCC led 63-62 when Shawnee called timeout with 11 seconds to go. Miller drove the right baseball and put up a one-footed, 8-footer.
Miller missed and Shawnee missed the putback at the buzzer.
Parker paced LCC with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
“I think he’s (Parker) a mismatch for a lot of people,” Kill said. “And he’s a guy who is getting comfortable with the basketball game. Here we are five weeks after football over and Carson’s getting his basketball legs. Tonight, rebounding-wise, he was one of the best on both ends.’’
Unruh had 19 points and three 3-pointers.
Foster scored 10 all in the first half.
But Foster left the game for good with a knee injury on a drive to the basket with 1:13 left in the second quarter and LCC leading 40-31.
“He’s (Foster) definitely the motor of our offense,” Kill said. “But we’ve had that experience where DeMarr has gone down (earlier in the year with an ankle injury) and Evan (Unruh) had to step up.’’
Kill said the belief is the knee injury isn’t serious.
Brady Wheeler paced Shawnee with 19 points.
Miller scored 17, including five driving layups (10 points in the fourth quarter.).
Ja’Mari Johnson had seven points and nine rebounds.
Shawnee played without sophomore guard Toby Freiberger, who is out with a knee injury.
Shawnee’s transition game took over in the third quarter when the Indians outscored LCC on an 11-2 run.
“They pressed us and it took us until the fourth quarter to get our rhythm,” Parker said.
That got Shawnee within 50-45 after’s Miller’s breakaway slam with 2:05 left in the third.
LCC won the boards, 35-28, including 20-7 on the offensive end.
LCC hit 9 of 14 from the field in the first quarter and was 3 of 6 on 3-pointers.
The T-Birds’ third 3-pointer of the game, from Foster, gave LCC a 22-20 lead after the first quarter.
Parker scored nine in the opening quarter, with most of his points in the 5-to-10 foot range. Parker had 15 by halftime.
“In the first half, I got my game going under the rim, then they started playing off,” Parker said. “Then, I could take one dribble and hit the 15-footer.’’
LCC closed the first half on a 15-5 run to take a 43-31 lead at the half.
Unruh had 14 at halftime, while Foster had 10 with three 3-pointers.
LCC hit 6 of 9 on 3-pointers at the half.
Both teams wore warm-up, shooting shirts which honored broadcaster Aaron Matthews, who recently passed away.
There was also a picture of Matthews hanging on the back wall of the pressbox.
The pre-game activity featured a few of Matthews’ radio-call highlights, including his LCC state championship broadcast.
Columbus Grove 59, Fort Jennings 46
Columbus Grove’s Zach Reynolds 12 points and Trey Sautter added 11 points. For Fort Jenings Jon Grote poured in 20 points.
Bluffton Holiday Tournament
Bluffton 76, Cory-Rawson
BLUFFTON — Bluffton was led by Trenton Donley with 17, Kyler Kinn and Trey Boblitt each had 14, and Carson Soper added 12 points.
Arlington 40, Continental 29
BLUFFTON — Arlington was led by Rylar Essinger with 12 points. Continental’s Konner Knipp-Williams scored 13 points.
The Pirates will play Arlington in the championship game at approximately 7 p.m. Cory-Rawson will play Continental at 5:30 p.m. in the consolation game.
Border Battle Holiday Tournament
Allen East 57, Waynesfield-Goshen 43
HARROD — Allen East’s Keaton Lehman and Zach Miller each scored 13 points and Keaton Miller added 12 points. For Waynesfield-Goshen Za’mere Daniels scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Jayden Elliott added 11 points.
Allen East will take on Upper Scioto Valley in the championship game.
Upper Scioto Valley 59, Ada 27
HARROD — Upper Scioto Valley’s Connor Sanders poured in 29 points and Drew Stephens added 17 points. Maddox Underwood scored five points, grabbed eight rebounds, made three steals and dished out six assists. For Ada, Spencer Wall scored 10 points.
Miller City 41, Ayersville 38
Miller City’s Abi Lammers 21 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and made five steals.
Vickie Mauk Tournament
New Knoxville 52, Elida 33
New Knoxville’s Ellie Gabel scored 15 points and Carsyn Henschen added 14 points. Avery Henschen chipped in 13 points to win the tournament. For Elida, Addisyn Freeman scored 12 points and Elli Mitchell added 11 points.
Coldwater 37, St. Henry 31
CELINA — Coldwater’s Jenna Leugers and Becca Wenning both hit double figures with 12 and 10 respectively.
Bluffton Holiday Tournament
ONU 56, St. Mary’s 26
BLUFFTON — The Ohio Northern women’s basketball team outscored St. Mary’s (Ind.) 22-7 in the first quarter Wednesday afternoon en route to a 56-26 victory at the Bluffton Holiday Tournament at the Sommer Center on the campus of Bluffton University.
Sophomore Kristen Luersman (Fort Jennings) led the way for the Polar Bears (8-2 overall), scoring a career-high 14 points to go with five rebounds in what was ONU’s fourth straight win.
Junior Brynn Serbin (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) also scored in double figures, posting 10 points to go with five rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Sophomore Kasey Knippen (Ottoville) finished with six points and three steals while freshman Abby Dickson (Germantown/Valley View) tallied a team-high eight rebounds along with five points.
Senior Alissa Stahler (Lima/Shawnee) added five points and six rebounds.
The Belles (2-10 overall) were led by Devan Buda, who scored seven points off the bench.
Ohio Northern made 22-of-65 field goals for 33.8% and was 4-of-19 from 3-point range for 21.1%, while the Belles made 8-of-48 field goals for 16.7% and were 1-of-21 from beyond the arc for 4.8%.
The Polar Bears were 8-of-12 from the foul line for 66.7% while St. Mary’s was 9-of-14 for 64.3%.
ONU out-rebounded St. Mary’s by a 48-36 margin and forced 24 turnovers.
ONU 87, Ohio Wesleyan 83
WESTERVILLE — After taking a big early lead, the Ohio Northern men’s basketball team held off a tough battle from Ohio Wesleyan for an 87-83 win Wednesday evening in the Smokey Ballenger Classic at the Rike Center at Otterbein University.
The Polar Bears improve to 7-3 overall while dropping the Battling Bishops to 5-5 overall.
Four Polar Bears scored in double figures led by senior Brandon Waugh (Columbus/Northland), who made three 3-pointers and finished with 22 points. He added seven rebounds and a team-high eight assists to his stat line.
Junior C.J. Napier (Miamisburg/Bishop Fenwick) added 16 points, nine rebounds and three assists, and junior Adam Scott (Wapakoneta) chipped in 13 points.
Freshman Ethan Bell (Marion/River Valley) made a trio of 3-pointers and finished with a career-high 11 points.
Sophomore Carson Conley (Newark/Licking Valley) scored nine points, and junior Grant Heileman (Millersport/Sheridan) added six points and nine rebounds for ONU.
Junior Jack Clement scored a game-high 26 points for OWU while adding four rebounds, four steals and three assists.
By Tom Usher