BY KEVIN WANNEMACHER
Times Bulletin Business Manager
LIMA - Lima Central Catholic forced Wayne Trace into eight turnovers in the opening stanza and the Thunderbirds led at every stop in cruising to a 50-33 win over the Lady Raiders Monday night in non-league girls basketball action.
In a game that had potential seeding points on the line in the upcoming sectional draw, it was the Thunderbirds who opened an 18-8 lead after one quarter and never looked back. The two squads are two of six teams in the Division III sectional at Lima Bath that also includes Ottawa Glandorf, Coldwater, Allen East and Bluffton.
Midway through the period, Wayne Trace was within 8-6 after a Tanya Sinn basket but it was all LCC from that point forward. The lady Thunderbirds put together ten consecutive points, led by four markers from Meredith Shepherd, to grab the ten point advantage after eight minutes of action.
LCC opened the second quarter with buckets from Kayla Verhoff and Sydney Santaguida before Wayne Trace, which falls to 4-9, answered with two Brenda Feasby free throws and an Erin Mohr bucket. The Thunderbirds went on to post a 24-14 halftime lead.
The Lady Raiders got within eight markers in the third quarter, using baskets by Mohr and Krystal Wannemacher to trim the deficit to 29-21.
However, Lima Central Catholic quickly responded.
Buckets from Sydney Mohler, Shepherd and Verhoff pushed the lead to 35-21 and the red-white-and-blue would get no closer. Another Mohler bucket closed the third quarter scoring with Lima Central Catholic on top 37-23.
Wayne Trace made one final run, slicing the lead to 43-31 on a Mohr basket before the Thunderbirds again answered.
Lima Central Catholic responded with seven consecutive points, capped with a Mohler bucket, before eventually settling on the 50-33 win.
Mohler led the way for the lady Thunderbirds with 14 points and nine rebounds while Santaguida added 11 and Verhoff chipped in ten. Shanna Farler also picked up nine caroms for Lima Central Catholic, which moves to 7-6 on the season. Shepherd dished out four assists and Santaguida recorded three steals.
Mohr paced Wayne Trace with ten points followed by Wannemacher with eight and Sylvia Young with five. Mohr posted nine boards to top the Lady Raiders with Shayna Temple and Feasby dishing out two assists each. Temple also picked up a pair of steals.
Wayne Trace finished the night 14 of 57 from the field (24 percent) compared to the Thunderbirds' 21 of 58 (36 percent). From beyond the arc, Lima Central Catholic hit 2 of 13 (15 percent) with the Lady Raiders missing all six attempts.
The Lady Raiders won the battle of the boards 44-35 but also committed more turnovers 18-9.
Wayne Trace's junior varsity recorded a 44-42 double overtime victory over the Thunderbirds. Brooke Wilcox recorded 13 points for the lady Raiders while Madi Poling added nine and Danielle Kortokrax chipped in seven.
Wayne Trace returns to action on Friday as the Raiders visit Ayersville in Green Meadows Conference action.