LIMA — As the Van Wert Lady Cougars and the Lima Central Catholic Lady Thunderbirds season winds down, both teams faced off on Tuesday night at LCC High School for girls non-conference high school basketball. LCC honored their three seniors on senior night with a 49-38 victory over the Lady Cougars.

The start of the first quarter was the Reagan Priest show for the Lady Cougars as Priest made three of her first four shots to help the Van Wert out to a 6-6 tie with the Lady T-birds. Unfortunately for Van Wert, LCC also had a player on fire from the field as Samantha Koenig came out of the block going 3 of 4 from beyond the arc. Koenig’s third 3-pointer of the first quarter gave LCC a 14-6 lead.

The Lady T-birds ended the first period with a 17-8 advantage as Madison Stolly made three free throws for LCC.

Van Wert got their offense working as Cassidy Meyers and Abby Jackson, who sat most of the first quarter with foul trouble, got a bucket for Van Wert. After a Priest jumper made the score 23-14, LCC used a timeout with 2:02 left in the first half.

The Lady T-birds got a 3-point play from Stolly coming out of the break as LCC increased its lead to 29-14. Van Wert looked to close out the second quarter strong as Ally Jackson connected on her lone triple of the night and Olivia Kline hit a baseline jumper to bring the score to 26-19, LCC, but the Lady T-birds got off a last second corner 3-pointer from Emma Baumgartner to go into the half up 29-19.

Van Wert was able to cut the lead down to 31-24 in the first few minutes of the third quarter as Abby Jackson came up strong with 4 points. The T-birds then went on a huge 11-0 run on the middle of the third period as Hailey Koenig contributed with 4 points and Stolly got 5 points, including a trey, to force a timeout, 42-24 LCC.

“We went through a little bit of a rollercoaster there and you will have that with a young team. We have had those lulls early but I thought our girls battled really well. We held Stolly to 21, and I told them our goals was 20 so I’m taking that as a mental win for us, but credit LCC they have a good team and can shoot from outside,” said Van Wert girls basketball coach Rob Adams.

Van Wert closed out the third quarter with buckets from Abby Jackson and a put-back basket from Jamison Clouse as the scoreboard read LCC 44, Van Wert 28 going into the final quarter.

The fourth period saw the return of Priest, who had to sit out much of the third period with foul trouble. Van Wert got baskets from Meyers, Priest and Abby Jackson in the early minutes of the fourth quarter. Though the T-birds scored just 5 points in the final period, they held on for a comfortable win.

“Our foul trouble hurts it really hurts we had some girls try to step up, but we lose some offensive fire power when we lose Abby and Priest,” Adams said. “We have to put in a freshman (Clouse) to replace Abby and she did a nice job for the most part. Losing Reagan hurts a lot in the third quarter, she started the game strong and we lose a little chemistry when she’s on the bench.”

The victory brings LCC back to .500 on the season at 11-11. The next time the Lady T-birds tip off will be in tournament play against Ridgemont next Wednesday. The Lady Cougars drop to 6-15 on the year and will play one final home game against Western Buckeye League foe Defiance on Thursday at Van Wert High School.

The Lady Bulldogs and Lady Cougars will then face each other in sectional tournament the following week.

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VAN WERT (38)

Ally Jackson 1-12 0-0 3, Cassidy Meyers 3-8 0-0 6, Abby Jackson 6-15 0-2 12, Alexis Rupert 0-2 1-2 1, Reagan Priest 5-13 0-0 10, Jamison Clouse 1-4 0-0 2, Olivia Kline 1-1 2-2 4, Sierra Shaffer 0-4 0-0 0; Totals 17-59 4-6 38

LIMA CENTRAL CATHOLIC (49)

Emma Baumgartner 1-4 0-0 3, Samantha Koenig 5-12 0-0 13, Madison Stolly 8-21 4-5 21, Josie Mohler 0-3 0-0 0, Rosie Williams 2-7 4-8 8, Hailey Koenig 2-2 0-0 4; Totals 20-49 8-13 49

Van Wert 8 11 9 10 - 38

Lima Central Catholic 17 12 15 5 - 49

3-Point Field Goals: Van Wert 1-19 (Ally Jackson) LCC 5-15 (S Koenig 3, H Koenig, Stolly) Rebounds: Van Wert 32 (Meyers 6) LCC 33 (Williams 13) Assist: Van Wert (Meyers 3) LCC 9 (Stolly 4) Fouls: Van Wert 11 LCC 7 Turnovers: Van Wert 13 LCC 18 JV: 44-27 LCC