LIMA — It was almost as much about who wasn’t able to play due to illness or injury as it was about who wasn’t sick or injured.
Elida made the short bus ride to Msgr. E. C. Herr Gymnasium and left with a 52-35 win over Lima Central Catholic Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs, who improve to 11-5 on the season, were without starting guard Drew Sarno who is out with an injury incurred against Shawnee last Friday.
Without Sarno to run their offense, Elida struggled getting the ball inside and managed only six 2-point field goals the entire game. Those six field goals came on 22 attempts from the floor.
But they offset that with a 7-for-14 performance from the 3-point line and also went 19-for-24 from the charity stripe.
“We struggled to get into our sets without Drew,” Elida coach Denny Thompson said. “He is so important to our offense.”
LCC, meanwhile, was without the services of leading scorer and rebounder Thomas Williams who is down with the flu. Brendan Stolly was also missing from the T-Bird line-up with the flu.
The game was close with Elida taking a first period lead of 13-10 before going to the half with a 25-18 lead over LCC.
The T-Birds bounced back with a solid third period that saw them outscore the Bulldogs 14-9 and get back to with-in 34-32 going to the final quarter of play.
Elida opened the final quarter on an 11-2 run and their lead had suddenly grown to 11 points at 45-34. They would go on to outscore LCC 18-3 in the fourth quarter to account for the final margin of victory.
The Bulldogs made 10-of-12 from the free throw line in the final quarter as the T-Birds were forced to foul in an effort to get back into the game.
“You have got to do that at the end of the game,” Thompson said. “We had to make those free throws.”
Elida was led in scoring by junior Daniel Unruh, who was fighting the flu himself, with a game high 19 points while fellow junior Isaac McAdams chipped in with 12 points that came on four three-point field goals. Unruh was fouled twice in the contest while shooting 3-point shots and converted 5-of-6 from the free throw line following those fouls.
LCC, who falls to 4-15 on the year, was led in scoring by Anthony Venturella with a team-high 10 point effort. Mark Janowski added 9 points for the T-Birds.
“Anthony Venturella stepped up for us tonight,” LCC coach Frank Kill said. “We played good for three quarters. We were aggressive on offense but didn’t make any shots. I saw some progress but at the end of the day we just have to get better.”
Both teams employed man to man defenses and both struggled shooting the ball. Elida finished at 36 percent on 13-of-36 from the field while LCC ended the night at 35 percent on 14-of-39 including 3-of-17 on three point attempts.
Elida only committed three turnovers in the game while LCC had 10 miscues. The T-Birds out-rebounded the Bulldogs by a final margin of 26-23.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0468.