LIMA – Lehman Catholic couldn’t stop Lima Perry from earning a Northwest Central Conference three-peat on Friday.
Perry notched its third consecutive outright NWCC title after putting in a big defensive effort to down the Cavaliers 46-32 on Friday night.
With the win, the Commodores go to 7-0 on the season and improve to 13-3 for the year. Lehman falls to 11-3 for the year and 4-2 in conference play. Even though the Commodores have one remaining league contest they have a two-game advantage.
This is the Commodores sixth NWCC title in seven seasons.
Perry’s Bubby Knight led the team with 16 points and Jefferey Simpson added 12 points. For Lehman, Luke Franz scored 22 of the Cavaliers’ 32 points.
Perry’s defense was in top form right from the opening tip. Beginning with a full court press, Perry’s smothering pressure held the Cavaliers to two points in the first eight minutes as the Commodores built up a 12-2 advantage.
Lehman was 0 for 7 from the floor and its only points came on two free throws from Frantz with 13 seconds left in the first quarter.
Perry’s defensive intensity continued into the second quarter and the Commodores built up a 23-2 advantage with 5:46 left in the first half after reeling off 11 unanswered points. In the run, Bubby Knight recorded five of those points.
The Cavaliers’ recorded its first field goal of the game at the 4:25 mark of the second quarter when Franz hit a 3-pointer. Franz had all but two of the Cavaliers 10 points in the first half.
By halftime, Perry led 25-10.
Even the Commodores had scoring points in the third quarter, the defense continued its tenacious pressure on the Cavaliers and Perry never saw its double-digit lead vanish. By the end of the third quarter, Perry led 35-18.
Coming off a 54-48 loss to Lima Bath Tuesday night, Perry coach Tabler challenged his team to up its defensive effort and they responded.
Offensively, the Commodores didn’t have the best night on the floor and Tabler credited the Lehman defense for their effort.
“Sidney Lehman plays a heck of a defense,” Tabler said. “We didn’t have any easy looks and I thought our best success came from sets. We when we kind of got away from 41 and the five motion we just did some one on one stuff but they made us change some shots at the rim. They are rim protectors.”
Lima News sports editor Jose Nogueras can be reached at (567) 242-0468.