Local Sports

Friday, January 11, 2013

Girls Basketball: Findlay throttles Lima Sr.
By NATHAN INNIGER

STAFF WRITER

Lima Senior girls basketball head coach Vince Halliday used the word toughness several times after the game.

He wasn't talking about his team, however, instead he was talking about Findlay.

The Trojans refocused after a tough stretch in the third quarter to defeat Lima Senior 62-45 Thursday night in a Three Rivers Athletic Conference game.

Findlay (10-3, 6-1 TRAC) used a dominating second quarter to lead the Spartans 28-15 by halftime.

The Trojans' advantage grew as big as 37-19 with 4:44 left in the third quarter and it appeared Findlay would run away with the victory.

Lima Senior (7-6, 3-4), though, had other ideas. The Spartans' full-court pressure forced Findlay into turnovers on six consecutive possessions and Lima Senior converted those turnovers into eight points.

Indiya Benjamin, a junior post, had three straight steals in the backcourt and scored six of the eight points.

The Spartans finished the third quarter on a 15-3 run and closed the deficit to 40-34.

"The problem is that basketball games are 32 minutes long and you can't play good for four minutes and expect to win," Halliday said.

Findlay had a choice to completely self-destruct or bounce back and finish off a win.

The Trojans did the latter, showing their toughness and scored during five of their first seven possessions of the final quarter and stymied Lima Senior defensively.

Zoe Swisher, a junior point guard, was particularly strong.

Swisher opened the period with two slick assists to Christina McQueen. Later, she drained a trey from the wing and then found Taylor Stanfield for a conventional three-point play as Findlay used a 14-4 run to build its lead back to 54-38.

Swisher dished off six assists in the game.

"Zoe Swisher did a phenomenal job for us," Findlay coach Connie Lyon said. "The assists that she had were phenomenal. She did a great job being a point guard and being a leader for us tonight."

The Trojans got solid contributions from several players.

Nicole Muehl (17 points), McQueen (12), Taylor Stanfield (11) and Swisher (11) each scored in double figures.

"I thought we were really balanced tonight and I thought everyone was ready to play," Lyon said.

McQueen and Stanfield led Findlay's rebounding with 12 and 11, respectively.

"Christina McQueen and Taylor Stanfield dominated on the boards," Lyon said. "You look at the rebounding effort by our posts and Abby Smarkel as well, that helps your point guard."

Findlay also excelled defensively, using a 3-2 zone to limit penetration chances for Lima Senior players, especially Benjamin.

Benjamin did score 11 points, but six of those came in transition rather than in the halfcourt offense.

"The 3-2 is a sign of respect toward those players," Lyon said. "I felt that our girls did a really good job playing defense tonight."

Stacia Allen and Essence Cowan each added 11 points for the Spartans, who hit 4 of 23 shots from beyond the arc and were outrebounded 43-27 by the Trojans.

"If you are just going to pass the ball around the outside against a packed in 3-2 zone and shoot 30 three-point shots, you are probably not going to win basketball games if you are not going to attack the zone and put any pressure on (Findlay)," Halliday said.

"The most frustrating thing is that we can shoot a little bit, but that is all we did. We just stood out there and jacked up 30-foot 3-point shots."

Lyon was happy with the way her players pushed through when faced with adversity.

"This is finals week, they are kids and we are very proud of the academic standard that our team has and that our kids have," she said. "With their class load, they are tired, mentally tired."



lima senior (7-6, 3-4)

Allen 4-0--11, Johnson 0-0--0, Benjamin 5-0--11, Thompson 3-0--6, Cowan 4-3--11, Haynes 3-0--6, Griffin 0-0--0. TOTALS: 19-60 3-5--45.

findlay (10-3, 6-1)

Swisher 4-0--11, Muehl 5-4--16, Bendt 1-0--3, Smarkel 2-2--4, Hardesty 2-0--5, McQueen 6-0--12, Stanfield 4-3--11. TOTALS: 23-50 9-15--62.

Lima Senior 10 5 19 11 -- 45

Findlay 9 19 12 22 -- 62

3-Point GOALS: Lima Senior 4-23 (Allen 3, Benjamin 1); Findlay 7-14 (Swisher 3, Muehl 2, Bendt & Hardesty.

rebounds: Lima Senior 28 (Haynes & Thompson 6); Findlay 45 (McQueen 12, Stanfield 11).

turnovers: Lima Senior 19, Findlay 25.

junior varsity: Findlay, 53-37.

Inniger: 419-422-5151,

nathaninniger@thecourier.com


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