LIMA — There were no preliminaries because the JV game was canceled because of bad weather.
But Lima Central Catholic looked more than ready for the main event when it rolled to a 57-33 boys basketball win over Delphos St. John’s on Tuesday night.
Tre Cobbs scored 19 points, with three 3-pointers, and Xavier Simpson had 14 points to lead LCC. Dantez Walton scored 10 points and had 6 rebounds. Jake Williams had 8 rebounds. For St. John’s, Andy Grothouse scored 18 points, 14 of them in the second half.
“I said it was just like the sectional final game,” LCC coach Frank Kill said, when asked if the preparation for the game was any different without a JV game. “You have to be able to get yourself physically and mentally ready without a JV game. This game gave us some experience (for the postseason).”
Cobbs’ 3-point shooting adds another dimension to LCC’s offense, Kill said.
“When Tre Cobbs is making threes like that, we’re going to be a really good team,” he said. “With Xavier and Martyce (Kimbrough) and then you throw in Tre Cobbs, we’re pretty lethal from the outside.”
LCC (13-2) jumped out to a 28-14 halftime lead on the Blue Jays (10-5), with a fairly significant portion of that halftime lead attributable to defensive pressure.
The Thunderbirds forced 11 turnovers out of the Blue Jays in the first two quarters.
That pressure caused more than a few problems for St. John’s.
St. John’s had turnovers on four of its first six possessions in the game. LCC stole in-bounds passes for baskets twice and Cobbs had back-to-back steals for baskets in a span of 16 seconds early in the second quarter when LCC went up by 10 points, 19-9.
“I thought our pressure and our ability to create some turnovers in the first and fourth quarters let us get some distance between us and a really good Delphos St. John’s team,” Kill said.
LCC’s defensive pressure also put pressure on St. John’s shooters, who found only a few uncontested shots in the opening half, hitting 5 of 16 on field goal attempts (31 percent).