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Boys Basketball: LCC runs away from Old Fort

Mar. 13—BOWLING GREEN — LCC coach Sean Powell has preached consistency to his team all year long.

His practice standards this week are the same ones he set during the first week of the season, and one of the main points of emphasis has been that if things aren't perfect, his players will run.

On Monday at practice, LCC spent its first seven minutes running. That was a sign of things to come.

On Tuesday night in the Stroh Center, LCC ran again, especially in the first quarter, and that set the tone for a fast-paced 65-44 victory over Old Fort in the regional semifinals.

"They did a lot of pressing and trapping, so what you don't want to do is get into a brawl where they can punch you first," Powell said of LCC's fast start. "If a team is going to press us, then we look to get up and down the floor early. Try and get a two or three-possession lead and then play the way we want to play."

LCC had its first two-possession lead just over two minutes into the game, and with 3:13 left in the first quarter, the T-Birds had a three-possession lead at 14-6, but they didn't seem satisfied with that.

LCC (25-2) closed the first quarter on a 13-2 run, including a rim-rattling alley-oop from Carson Parker to Willie Foster, which put an exclamation mark on a 20-8 lead.

Old Fort (21-6) never trimmed the deficit back under 10 and LCC's lead grew as high as 24 points in the second half.

The Stockaders, a team that normally shoots 38 percent from three-point range, made just 4 of 16 attempts from deep and struggled to 18 of 48 from the field overall (37%).

"Generally we're a really good shooting team, but we couldn't get anything to go tonight," Old Fort coach Eric Hoover said. "We rushed, and we settled for shots we don't normally take. Once we got some inside-out looks, we knocked those down, but we didn't get enough of them. We knew we'd have to shoot the ball well to win this game because they're a tough matchup for us, we just didn't get that done."

Sean Powell said his team prepared as if all five Old Fort players had the ability to hit a three at any time.

"We understood that they're a very good three-point shooting team," he said. "They put out five guys that can dribble, pass, shoot, and to defend them you have to get out there on the perimeter. As a team, we did a good job of having a hand-up on shots.

"It was key that Billy Bourk guarded the perimeter well. I felt like he was that fifth guy that they were going to attack, being a traditional big."

Bourk not only defended well, but he also hit 5 of his 6 shots from the field and finished the night with 12 points and one of four LCC players in double figures.

Jordan Priddy had a game-high 20 points with seven rebounds and four assists. Carson Parker added 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and four steals. Willie Foster chipped in 13 points, five rebounds, and three steals.

Old Fort leaned on Konnor Ernsberger for 16 points and seven rebounds. He was the lone Stockader in double figures.

LCC dominated the boards 33-24 and won the turnover battle 15-13.

The T-Birds are one win away from punching their ticket to Dayton. They'll face Toledo Christian, who was victorious over Pandora-Gilboa, back at the Stroh Center on Friday night starting at 7 p.m.

"They're a complete team," Powell said of the Eagles. "Good guard play and a nice big man down low who can do multiple things and today it looked like he could score at all three levels. Defensively, we'll watch them and figure out ways we can slow them down on Friday."

Carson Parker pointed to LCC's regular season games against Ottawa-Glandorf and Lima Senior as moments that have prepared his team for the type of big-game environment they'll be in on Friday night.

"Those big games in front of sold-out crowds where every bucket and every rebound makes the place go nuts, that's definitely something that prepares us for a game like this. We know when things aren't going our way, we know that we can count on all five players on the floor to put the ball in the hoop and make big plays down the stretch."

LCC 65, Old Fort 44

Score by quarters:

LCC 20 14 10 21 — 65

Old Fort 8 11 11 14 — 44

LCC

Jordan Priddy 22, Carson Parker 13, Willie Foster 13, Billy Bourk 12, Demarr Foster 5, Totals: 26-7-65

OLD FORT

Konnor Ernsberger 16, Carter Dubois 9, Ryan Adelsperger 7, Isiah Perez 6, Blake Bender 3, Grant Havens 3, Totals: 18-4-44

Three-point goals: LCC — Priddy 3, D. Foster 1, W. Foster 1, Parker 1; OF — Dubois 1, Adelsperger 1, Bender 1, Havens 1.

Records — LCC 25-2; Old Fort 21-6

Reach Chris Howell at 567-242-0468 or on Twitter at @Lima_Howell