FOSTORIA — They were back. And that was a problem for Lima Senior.
Perrysburg’s Sara Baer and Alex Brown combined for 35 points and 29 rebounds when the Yellow Jackets handed Lima Senior a 66-48 loss in a Division I girls basketball district semifinal at Fostoria High School on Thursday night.
A year ago when Lima Senior fell 79-64 to the same opponent in the district semis, Perrysburg’s 6-foot, 1-inch post players, Baer and Brown, combined for 46 points.
The difference this time was that Lima Senior was in the game with a chance to win until the final quarter. Last year, Perrysburg went out to a big lead early and cruised to the win.
Indiya Benjamin scored 20 points and Essence Cowan had 15 points for the Spartans (20-5). Baer had 21 points and 15 rebounds for Perrysburg (22-3) and Brown had 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Lima Senior needed a good shooting night against the taller Yellow Jackets but couldn’t find its shooting touch. The Spartans hit 20 of 64 shots in the game and 8 of 32 in the second half.
“Early on in the game we just missed too many shots. We had opportunities to create a gap early. We missed nine layups in the first half,” Lima Senior coach Vince Halliday said. “In the second half we just never got hot. We just kept settling for 8-foot floaters.
“Once they got a lead, we panicked a little and got jump shot happy. Forty-eight points is a season low for us. We never got warm. When you’re a guard-oriented team and don’t make shots, it’s tough.
“It was a disappointing loss, but, 20-5, we had a hell of a season,” he said.
Perrysburg had some struggles of its own early, and it was its inside game that was struggling. Time after time, the Yellow Jackets got the ball inside and missed shots.
“They were just around-the-basket shots that we usually make,” Perrysburg coach Todd Sims said. “We dropped passes out of bounds with nobody on us. We looked a little antsy at times.”
Despite those shooting and catching issues, Perrysburg was up 20-17 with three minutes left in the first half. But Lima Senior went on an 8-0 run to go up 25-20 and went to the locker room at halftime with a 28-26 lead.
Lima Senior’s last lead was at 36-35 midway through the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Cowan. The fourth quarter belonged to Perrysburg, though.
Perrysburg hit 15 of 23 shots in the final two quarters after shooting just 10 of 28 in the first half. Lima Senior’s defense, which had forced 13 first-half turnovers by the Yellow Jackets, generated only five in the final two quarters.
Rion Thompson 7, Essence Cowan 15, Miea Ward 2, Imara Haynes 4, Indiya Benjamin 20.
Alex Brown 14, Lindy Delong 4, Sara Baer 21, Kelsey Moore 4, Abby Sattler 8, Kayla Piezer 10, Taylin Hunter 5.