Lincolnview’s Hannah McCleery (22) puts up a shot as Katlyn Wendel battles for position in this file photo. McCleery scored 10 points for Lincolnview in its loss to LCC on Thursday night. Julia Thatcher led the way with 16 for the Lady Lancers. (TB file photo)
By Nick Johnson
Times Bulletin Correspondent
LIMA —A glance at the records of the two teams playing at Lima Central Catholic High School would indicate a one-sided game. The final score, a 56-45 win for LCC over Lincolnview’s Lady Lancers, might suggest the same. It took a late 10-0 run, however, for the Lady Thunderbirds to pull away from a scrappy Lincolnview squad on Thursday night.
The Lady T-birds (13-4) jumped out to a 6-0 lead, getting baskets from Madison Stolly and Kayla Verhoff, but hoops from Julia Thatcher and Christine Stemen brought Lincolnview right back to within 6-4.
LCC the began to heat up from outside. A pair of 3-pointers from Meredith Sheppard sandwiched around a Lincolnview layup from Hannah McCleery gave LCC another six-point cushion early on.
Stemen drained a 3-pointer of her own to bring the Lancers to a 14-12 deficit at the end of one and Lincolnview would force ties at 14-14 and 16-16 before LCC used another Shepherd three to go up 23-18.
Again, the Lancers had an answer, using a 6-0 spurt, with hoops from Ashton Bowersock and another Stemen three to take a brief 24-23 lead before LCC claimed a one-point halftime edge.
The Lancers took the lead to start the second half with a Thatcher basket, but a 7-0 T-bird run gave LCC a 34-27 lead. The Lancers quickly cut the lead to four by the end of the third quarter getting two points each from Thatcher and Bowersock.
Early in the final period, Lincolnview got two free throws from Bowersock and a layup from McCleery to make the score 41-39, LCC.
The Lady T-birds went a big 10-0 run getting a 3-pointer from Shepherd and four points from Verhoff. This time, however, there was no Lincolnview comeback. LCC continued to play good defense and connect on enough foul shots to put away the Lancers.
For Lincolnview head coach Dan Williamson, it was difficult to be upset despite the loss.
“That has been our calling card this year. Some of the final scores have not been a good indication of how close the games have been this year. It was within two or three possession the whole way and we kind of went cold at the end and LCC didn’t go cold,” Williamson noted. “They made some shots, got some offensive rebounds, and made foul shots. And that is what good teams do and (LCC is) a good team. They have 13 wins this season, so I feel good about what we did tonight.”
The Lancers fall to 6-11 on the season, but Williamson sees a club on the rise.
“(Our girls) have delivered when it comes to playing hard and playing with a lot of energy. We are really close when it comes to being a really good basketball team. We aren’t quite there yet, but we are close. I think by the time the tournament comes around we will be there.”
The T-birds had two girls in double figures with Meredith Shepherd who had 14 points and Kayla Verhoff added 13 points on the night. Lincolnview’s Julia Thatcher lead all scorers with 16 and Hannah McCleery chipped in with 10 points for the Lancers.
Score by quarters
Lincolnview 12 12 7 14- 45
LCC 14 11 10 21- 56
Wendel 0, McCleery 10, Thatcher 16, Stemen 8, Bowersock 9, Clay 0, Gorman 2
Kidd 4, Santaguida 8, Verhoff 17, Mohler 6, Stolly 7, Shepherd 14