BY NICK JOHNSON
Times Bulletin Correspondent
LIMA-The Spencerville Bearcats took on the Lima Central Catholic Thunderbirds at Lima Senior High School on Saturday night in the Division III District Finals.
In the end, the T-birds were able to avenge a loss to Spencerville earlier in the season with a 66-60 win over the Bearcats.
LCC jumped out to a 9-6 lead over Spencerville as Tre'on Johnson nailed a three-pointer to counter an early three-pointer from the Bearcats' Zach Goecke. The T-birds got five straight points from Darius West, including a three-pointer, to give LCC a 16-8 lead.
The T-birds got the last basket of the first quarter and the first basket of the second quarter as Martyce Kimbrough drained a jumper to end the first period. Johnson then opened up the second period with a quick layup to increase the LCC led to 20-8.
The Bearcats closed the gap to with one with an 11-0 run in the second quarter, as Zach Goecke scored five points and Derek Goecke scored four during the Spencerville run to make the score 20-19, T-birds.
LCC got a three-pointer from Johnson, but Spencerville quickly countered with a three-pointer from Ben Bowers to make the score 23-22, T-birds.
With the score 29-28, LCC, the T-birds leaned on Kimbrough again as he drained a last second jumper to make the score 31-28 going in to the intermission.
The T-birds opened the second half with six straight points, as three different players got layups to increase the LCC lead to 37-28.
The Bearcats got five straight points from Bowers to cut the T-birds lead to 37-33. Kimbrough countered with a three-pointer for LCC, but a little later in the game Bowers knocked down another three-pointer to make the score 42-36, LCC.
Back-to-back layups from West and Trey Cobbs gave the T-birds a 12-point lead before Spencerville's Devon Cook made a three-pointer to cut the led to 48-39 at the end of the third quarter.
Spencerville started the fourth period with a three-pointer from Cook and a three-point play from Zach Goecke to cut the LCC advantage to 48-45. LCC went on a 8-2 run getting two three-pointers, one each from Johnson and Xavier Simpson, but the Bearcats got two foul shots from Derek Goecke to end the run and make the score 56-50, T-birds.
A Derek Goecke layup and two foul shots from Greg Miller cut the T-bird lead to 59-55. LCC went on to make seven of eight from the free throw line to close out the game and give the T-birds a 66-60 win.
"They just made big shots and they made them all night long. Martyce and Tre'on just made shots when they needed to make shots. We couldn't get over the hump and get the stops when we needed to. But our guys never gave up all night. I'm proud of them. They fought like crazy, but LCC made shots when they needed too," said Bearcat coach Kevin Sensabaugh
"I think what happened the first time around, Martyce and Tre'on, neither of them we able to get going from the field. This time they got it going a little bit not like we were not guarding them we got hands in their faces they just made big shots that is just the difference in the game," added Sensabaugh.
Johnson led all scorers with 20 points, Kimbrough and West both added 15 points on the night and Simpson also contributed 10 points for LCC.
Bowers had 19 points for Spencerville, while Zach Goecke added 16 points and Derek Goecke chipped in 14.
With the win on Saturday night LCC improves to 24-2 on the year and advances to BGSU to take on Ottawa Glandorf on Wednesday night. The Bearcats, with the loss, drop to 16-8 on the year.
LCC (FG, FT, 3PT)
Xavier Simpson 2 1 3 10, Sam Huffman 1 0 0 2, Tre'on Johnson 6 4 2 20, Martyce Kimbrough 4 1 4 15, Trey Cobbs 1 0 0 2, Darius West 6 1 0 15, Totals: 22, 7, 9, 66
Spencerville Devon Cook 0 2 2 8, Dominick Corso 0 0 1 1, Zach Goecke 3 1 7 16, Ben Bowers 4 3 2 19, Greg Miller 0 0 2 2, Derek Goecke 5 0 4 14, Totals: 12, 6, 18, 60