St. Marys, Celina advance to sectional title games

LIMA — The tournament offers up opportunities for unlikely heroes. St. Marys found one deep on its bench.

That big lift and a run to start the second half has the St. Marys boys basketball team moving on the Division II sectional tournament at Lima Senior.

Tyler Sullivan scored 16 points off the bench and a 9-0 spurt in the third quarter keyed St. Marys’ 64-58 win over the Shawnee Indians on Tuesday night.

The Roughriders (11-12) advance to play top-seeded Elida on Friday night at 6:15 p.m. at Lima Senior High School. Shawnee’s three-game winning streak to end the season came to an end and the Indians finish their first campaign under Memorial High School grad Mark Triplett at 8-15. The night at Lima Senior went completely lakeside, as Celina won the nightcap over Wapakoneta 54-41 to advance to play Bath on Friday.

Sullivan was seldom-used at the varsity level during the second half of the season, largely getting his minutes on the junior varsity squad. As St. Marys starting center Quinn Zaerr battled foul trouble all night, the 6-3 junior stepped in and delivered a 5 of 6 shooting night from the floor along with 6 of 7 from the free throw line and three key offensive rebounds.

“When Quinn got in foul trouble, they told me come in and be ready to score and go up strong,” Sullivan said.

“Tyler came in and did a great job,” St. Marys head coach Dan Hegemier said. “He’s played JV most of the year, but we needed somebody to catch and score and he did a job. It was a great job by Tyler.”

Nathan Wilker and Derek Jay each had 12 points for the Roughriders. Marquis Wilson added 10 points on 50 percent shooting and sparked St. Marys in the third quarter with a pair of drives to the basket for lay-ups and had a pair of steals near midcourt.

St. Marys avenged a regular-season 62-49 loss to the Indians.

The Celina boys basketball team recovered from its gut-punching loss in the regular season finale to Elida to handle Wapakoneta 54-41 in the second game of the Division II sectional semis at Lima Senior on Tuesday night and advance to play Bath on Friday.

“It’s good to get a win under our belt and work some things out,” Celina head coach Chris Bihn said. “It’s a good thing that we played tonight.”

Celina took to the court for the first time since its tough 61-60 to Elida loss that cost them a piece of the Western Buckeye Legaue title.

Bihn said his team bounced back with the help of its senior. “We’ve got great seniors,” Bihn said. “They’re great leaders and make sure we’re ready to play.”

Among those seniors is Mason Ross, who put the Bulldogs on his back in the third quarter. Ross scored 13 points — including 11 of them the third.

“Mason was able to give them a shot fake and take it in,” Bihn said. “It got him a couple lay-ups and then got on a roll and was looking to score. I looked to the guys on my bench and said ‘Mason is looking pretty tired’ and they just looked at me and said, ‘Leave him in.’”

Celina had eight offensive rebounds in the first half and 12 in the game.

Ryan Hoyng added 12 points for Celina.

Adam Henderson paced Wapakoneta with 11 points. Corey Crawford had eight. Wapak ends its season at 5-18.