Rileigh Stockwell (21) looks to go up strong inside as two LCC defenders converge. Stockwell paced the Jeffcats with 17 points on the night, but Jefferson lost at home, 48-43. (Times Bulletin/ Randy Shellenbarger)
By Larry Heiing
DELPHOS — The Lima Central Catholic team bus was late arriving for its game with Delphos Jefferson because of the snow and sleet the area received Thursday afternoon.
The Lady Thunderbird offense seemed to stay on the bus for the first half, but also showed up late for a comeback victory 48-43.
Both squads came out in a tight man-to-man defense, holding the other team scoreless for over two minutes to open the contest. Jefferson’s Katie Goergens finally connected at the 5:50 mark with a three-pointer from the top of the key.
LCC came right back scoring 10 unanswered points with a pair of threes and two fast-break buckets.
Jefferson started to chip away at the lead at the charity stripe, and a bucket from Goergens but LCC continued to score on the break or found the open shot in the corner after breaking the Lady Cats’ press to lead 16-10 at the break.
Rileigh Stockwell took control of the Jefferson offense to open the second with three drives for a bucket with two Thunderbird defenders in her face.
Sydney Santaguida popped a trey for the Thunderbirds and a 18-16 lead.
Jefferson coach Dave Hoffman then made his first mass player substitution of the game, and it paid off as Hannah Sensibaugh scored on a breakaway after a Jefferson steal. Goergens drilled a triple from the top and Jefferson had the lead 23-18.
After two made foul shots by Sensibaugh, Jefferson stole a Thunderbird pass for the fourth time in the quarter. Stockwell made another bucket on another amazing move to the hole over the LCC defense for her eleventh point of the half and they lead at the break 27-18.
Just as Stockwell owned the first half with drives in the paint in the first half, Madison Stolly did the same for LCC in the second half. Stolly scored in the paint to open the half and the lead was down to seven. Jefferson got its largest lead of the night at 31-20 after buckets from Gabby Pimpas and Goegens.
The Thunderbird coaching staff wanted their girls to push the tempo of the game and the Jefferson lead was quickly cut to a handful.
Makayla Binkley scored on a drive to the bucket and got an assist to Stockwell for the layin and the lead was back to nine. Stolly scored 14 points in the third quarter, however, to bring her Thunderbirds within three at the end of the period, 39-36.
Stolly tied the game with a three to start the fourth quarter, and Jefferson was rattled by LCC’s physical play. The pressure resulted in turnovers by the Lady Wildcats. After Jefferson converted 2-of-4 free throws to tie the game at 41, Kayla Verhoff drained a triple for the Thunderbirds. Stockwell got the Lady Cats within one with a driving basket but they would get no closer.
Coach Hoffman was pleased with his defense in the game. “We defended well in the paint in the first half but Stolly took over under the bucket in the second half. Also, LCC scored on 14 three-pointers Monday night against Wayne Trace and we held them to six triples.” Meredith Shepherd set a single-game record for LCC earlier in the season with eight treys but was held to only one against Jefferson.
“We just didn’t play well with the lead,” concluded Hoffman. “We had too many turnovers in the second half to stay ahead of LCC.” Jefferson’s record drops to 6-8 while the Thunderbirds improve to 9-5.
Jefferson was led in scoring by Stockwell with 17 points and Goergens added 10. As a team, they shot well from two-point land, making 14-of-28 for 50 percent to go along with 9-of-16 at the foul line.
Stolly lead the Thunderbirds with a game-high 23 points.
In JV action, Jessica Pimpas scored nine points but it wasn’t enough as the Lady Cats fell 32-20 the Thunderbirds.
2-pt. 3-pt. FT pts.
Sydney Santaguida 1-1-0-5, Meredith Shepherd 3-0-0-6, Liz Kidd 0-1-0-3, Sydney Mohler 1-0-0-2, Natalie Snider 0-1-0-3, Madison Stolly 7-1-6-23, Kaya Verhoff 0-2-0-6. Totals 12-6-6/7-48.
2-pt. 3-pt. FT pts.
Heather Pohlman 0-0-0-0, Brooke Culp 0-0-1-1, Lindsay Deuel 0-0-0-0, Katie Goergens 2-2-0-10, Rileigh Stockwell 8-0-1-17, Hannah Sensibaugh 1-0-4-6, Gabby Pimpas 1-0-1-3, Makayla Binkley 1-0-0-2, Shelby Koenig 0-0-0-0, Jasmine McDougall 1-0-2-4. Totals 14-2-9/16-43.
Score by Quarters:
LCC 5 17 13 13 - 48
Jefferson 10 17 12 4 - 43