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Thunderbirds rout Wildcats in NWC boys action PDF Print E-mail
Monday, January 14, 2013 10:23 AM


DELPHOS — Jefferson head boys basketball coach Marc Smith knew what his Wildcats were up against Friday night as Northwest Conference powerhouse Lima Central Catholic invaded The Stage of Jefferson Middle School.

The Thunderbirds didn’t disappoint as their quick and athletic defense forced 28 miscues that led to easy points the other way en route to a 64-30 rout.


“They are the better team; they are too quick, fast and athletic for us to match up with at this time. You can do everything right and they’re still too good,” Jefferson head coach Marc Smith began. “Their defense is just so tough and turns you over so quickly. That defense leads to so much of their offense. When they have to set up, you have to pick your poison, they have so many weapons; for us, it’s usually someone you least expect that burns us, like (Xavier) Simpson tonight, who hit three 3s when he hadn’t hit one all year.”


LCC coach Frank Kill likes the fact that defense set the tone this night.

“We take great pride in our defense; that sets up so much of our offense and gets us easier baskets,” he conceded. “We forced those 28 turnovers and that gets us into transition.  I think we played with great effort for 32 minutes, from start to finish and from the top guy to the last guy we put in. We needed to see that.”

Those miscues fueled the Thunderbirds (11-1, 4-0 NWC) to shooting 26-of-54 from the floor, including 7-of-19 from deep, for 48.2 percent.

Jefferson could not compensate for those errors as they connected on 10-of-33 fielders, 1-of-5 downtown, for 30.3 percent.

Junior Martyce Kimbrough (4 assists) scored nine of his 14 markers in the first period to establish the Thunderbirds. Their 1-2-1-1 full-court pressure and man-to-man half-court defense forced 10 turnovers against the Wildcats (3-7, 1-2 NWC) and that helped them overcome six miscues of their own (11 for the game). They shot 6-of-12 from the field versus the Wildcats’ 4-of-9. Jefferson freshman Trey Smith netted six of his team-high 12 in the period and his transition basket at 3:37 accounted for the last tie at 6-6. LCC then turned on the juice, forcing eight turnovers down the first-period stretch and notching a 13-2 span, including a 3-ball by senior Tre’on Johnson (14 markers, 3 dimes) with 4.1 ticks left, for a 19-8 edge.

LCC’s defense continued to crank up the pressure in the second period and that resulted in forcing eight more Delphos turnovers. This time, seven Thunderbirds scored at least a point in the stanza and they canned 10-of-19 shots, many coming inside or in the paint. Senior Zach Ricker scored five of his seven points for the Red and White but the only other points by the hosts came on two singles by sophomore Nick Fitch. When Johnson drove to the rim for a deuce with 25 ticks showing, LCC led 42-15.

Johnson set the LCC pace in the third stanza, as did the freshman Simpson (12 counters, 4 steals), scoring six and five, respectively, of its 15 markers. Smith tried to counter, netting six more markers for the Wildcats, but they simply couldn’t match the firepower that the T-Birds have. When Simpson took a steal in for a layin with 23 ticks to go, the visitor edge was 57-25.

The biggest margin for the Thunderbirds in the final period was 37 — 64-27 — on a free throw by junior Mykale Rogers.

“At the same time, I just got done telling my kids I couldn’t be prouder of the time and effort that they have put in on the floor,” Coach Smith added. “I know Coach Kill and his players and they work hard but they don’t work any harder than our kids; they’re just better right now. My guys worked hard to win and wanted to win; it wasn’t for lack of effort and will to win.”

In sum, Lima Central Catholic — minus 6-4 starting junior post Cory Stewart (injured) — finished 7-of-13 from charity (53.8%); assumed 28 rebounds (11 offensive) as sophomore Jake Williams grabbed six; and amassed 16 fouls. LCC is off until Friday when they invade Ada.

Jefferson netted 9-of-14 at the line (64.3%); nabbed 27 off the glass (9 offensive) as junior Ross Thompson had eight; and totaled 13 fouls. Jefferson hosts Wayne Trace tonight.

“That’s the second part of the game we take pleasure in, sharing the basketball. When we are moving the ball, like we did tonight, we are much more successful offensively,” Kill added. “We have a lot of depth as well. It’s nice to give the guys who get more practice time than game time some love because they work so hard to make the starters and our key players off the bench better.”

In junior varsity action, the Thunderbirds rolled up a 55-18 rout.

Nick Taflinger led the way for the victors with 11.

The reshuffled Wildcats (1-8, 0-3 NWC) — minus Dalton Hicks (varsity) and Grant Wallace (injured) — received seven markers from junior Tyler Rice.


Pictured: Jefferson senior Zach Ricker gets loose in the lane for a bucket vs. LCC.


Last Updated on Monday, January 14, 2013 11:23 AM

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