Landon Elwer of St. John's takes the ball to the hoop in Sunday's matchup with LCC. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
Landon Elwer of St. John's takes the ball to the hoop in Sunday's matchup with LCC. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)

LIMA — For the fifth year in a row, St. John’s defeated Lima Central Catholic in the Holy War and brought their overall record in the series to 50-41. The Blue Jays needed an extra quarter to get it done but they came away with a 56-48 victory over the Thunderbirds on Sunday.

“Every year this game is highly competitive and contested,” said St. John’s head coach Aaron Elwer. “We have been in overtime situations several times with LCC and we find a way to win. We played with composer at the end and hit some big shots - it was fun to be a part of.”

Aiden Rode hit a 3-pointer early in the game but St. John’s found themselves trailing 14-10 after the first quarter. Evan Unruh drained one from downtown to cut the Blue Jay lead to one before hitting back-to-back shot and propelling LCC into the lead.

Nate Stolly hit a 3-pointer for the T-Birds as time was running out in the opening quarter but Brady Parrish nailed a jumper with :20 left on the clock to cut LCC’s lead down to four.

The Blue Jays battled back in the second quarter and tied the game at 16-16 on a 3-pointer from Brady Grothaus. His shot from the left wing gave St. John’s the momentum and sent the packed house into a frenzy. Isaac Fairchild went coast-to-coast with 4:28 remaining in the first half and gave the Jays their first lead since the opening run.

“Our community support was great today,” said Elwer. “I told the guys to look at the crowd and how well we travel on a Sunday afternoon. Our team appreciates seeing a lot of blue and gold in the stands.”

The T-Birds too back the lead on a 3-pointer but Rode drained a jumper and cut the LCC advantage down to one point by halftime.

St. John’s only seemed to get stronger as the game wore on. They held the lead throughout most of the third quarter as they worked the paint and perimeter. Parrish had three strong buckets down low and Grothaus hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to extend the Blue Jay lead to 39-35 after three quarters of action.

St. John’s extended their advantage to double-digits early in the fourth quarter on a bucket by Landon Elwer before the T-Birds mounted a comeback and sent the game to overtime. Biggz Johnson nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1:00 left in regulation and tied the game at 46-46.

The Blue Jays dominated the overtime period and outscored LCC 10-2. Parrish had five points and went 3-for-4 from the free-throw line and Fairchild had a huge layup in traffic to seal the game for St. John’s.

“The game of basketball is fast,” Elwer continued. “We tell all our guys to keep their composure and play with an even keel. Fairchild plays one way and that is 100-percent all the time. He has been so good for us in many different ways and is a great leader on the floor.”

St. John’s improves to 9-0 (2-0 MAC) and will travel to Fort Recovery on Friday. The Indians currently stand at 7-2 (1-2 MAC).

St. John’s 10 10 19 7 10 - 56

LCC 14 7 14 11 2 - 48

St. John’s (56)

Brady Parrish 15, Aiden Rode 14, Brady Grothaus 14, Isaac Fairchild 9, Landon Elwer 4

LCC (48)

Evan Unruh 15, Biggz Johnson 10, Nate Stolly 7, Shaun Thomas 6, Rissy Moore 4, Michael Jay Riepenhoff 4, Rodney Bennett 2

Junior Varsity

St. John’s 12 16 9 11 - 48

LCC 18 15 12 16 - 61