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June 1, 2020

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LCC eliminates Pirate boys in sectional final

Jared Piercefield tallied 11 of his team-high 16 points in the second half

By Cort Reynolds
ELIDA - Lima Central Catholic ran out to a big halftime lead and defeated Bluffton 60-44 in Div. IV boys basketball sectional final action at Elida Friday night.

The Pirates fell behind 15-4 after the first period and never caught up. The fifth-seeded Thunderbirds extended their margin to a commanding 35-16 at halftime with a 20-point second stanza. 

Second seed Bluffton inched within 47-36 behind a strong third period as senior Mason Soper scored eight points.

But LCC canned five of seven foul shots in the final quarter to hold off the Pirates, winning the period 13-8 to finish with a 16-point margin of victory.

The Pirates finished their stellar season 18-5. LCC improved to 14-8 with the win and moves on to face third seed Wayne Trace in the district semifinals.

Senior Jared Piercefield tallied 11 of his team-high 16 points in the second half of his final Bluffton game. Soper contributed 14 markers in his finale as well. But no other Pirate scored over four points.

Biggz Johnson led the T-Birds with a game-high 22 points, and he was the only LCC player in double figures.

Bluffton canned 19 field goals, including 18 two-point goals and just one three-pointer. The Pirates converted only five of 14 foul shots (67 percent).

LCC sank 20 two-pointers and five triples for 25 total baskets. The also struggled at the charity stripe, converting five of 10 free throws (50 percent).

LCC committed 14 turnovers, while Bluffton was charged with 10 errors.

Bluffton 44 (18-5)
Deardorff 1 0-0 3, Schriner 1 0-0 2, Garmatter 1 1-2 3, Soper 7 0-4 14, Shutler 0, Piercefield 6 4-5 16, Essinger 1 0-0 2, Hohenbrink 0, Kinn 2 0-2 4, Ault 0. 
Totals: 19/5-14/44. 3-pointer: Deardorff 1.

LCC 60 (14-8)
Johnson 8 4-5 22, R. Moore 4 0-0 8, Stolly 1 0-1 2, Bowker 2 0-0 5, Thomas 3 1-4 8, M. Moore 3 0-0 6, Riepenhoff 4 0-0 9.
Totals: 25/5-10/60. 3-pointers: Johnson 2, Bowker 1, Thomas 1, Riepenhoff 1.

    1    2    3    4    F
Bluf     4    12    20    8    44
LCC    15    20    12    13    60

The four Elida/Miller City sectional final winners advanced to the Lima Senior districts March 5. 

Ottawa-Glandorf (22-1) was seeded first in the sectional and faces number eight Coldwater in the district semis. Wayne Trace (17-6) and LCC face off in the first semifinal. The district finals are set for Saturday, March 7 at Lima Senior.

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