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02-16-04: Bulldogs win game at the line

Homan the difference on both ends of court


Celina was able to pick up its second win of the weekend after knocking off Lima Central Catholic, 61-51, on Saturday night at the Fieldhouse.
Tim Homan led the Bulldogs with 28 points, but it was hard finding a Bulldog who didn’t have a solid effort Saturday night, especially on the defensive end of the floor.
Homan led the Bulldogs with four blocks, but all of the Bulldogs did a nice job of not allowing LCC to penetrate into the lane for easy baskets.
That translated into a rough shooting night for LCC, as the Thunderbirds hit 38 percent (18-for-47) of their shots.
“They’re a penetrating-type team, that’s the kind of offense that they run and we were able to slow that down and it kind of bothered them tonight,” said Celina coach Mike Kanney. “We guarded their special plays pretty well and just a good effort for our team. LCC is a good basketball team and I told our guys after the game that was a nice win.”
Both squads battled through a physical defensive first half to find themselves tied at 20-apiece at the break.
It was the Bulldogs, though, who came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, and with an 11-0 start to the third quarter as Celina quickly jumped to a 31-20 lead.
Brian Gagle started the third quarter with a jumper, followed by five straight points from Homan. Joe Kanney then converted a three-point play, and on the next possession it was Kanney feeding Scott Boley for an easy two underneath to cap the 11-0 run.
“We talked about it at halftime, I said ‘listen, we have the ball coming out gentlemen, if we can come out on a roll and hit our first couple of shots and keep getting some stops that would really help our cause,’ and we did,” Kanney said. “I thought our kids did a great job of finding each other, we hit some big shots in that stretch to help build a lead and we were able to hang on to it.”
The T-Birds responded with a 7-0 run of its own to help find itself only down three points entering the fourth quarter.
Ryan Rettig then opened the fourth by scoring on a back cut for LCC to cut the Celina lead to 35-34, but the Bulldogs were able to find their offensive groove in the final stanza.
Celina scored 26 fourth-quarter points, and were led by Homan’s 11 in the final period.
“I thought 55 (Homan) intimidated us on offense and defense,” said LCC coach Bob Seggerson. “He was spectacular tonight, that’s the best I’ve seen him play. Unfortunately, we allowed him basically to beat us, but I think his defensive plays were just as important as what he did offensively.”
The biggest factor in the fourth quarter was Celina’s foul shooting. The Bulldogs sank 15-of-17 from the charity stripe in the fourth, and 20-of-24 for the game.
Homan once again led the way for Celina in that aspect of the game, making 11-of-13 from the line.
LCC got as close as four points, though, when Kolby Harruff, who led the T-Birds with 16 points, drained a three-pointer with just over 40 seconds to play.
Kanney and Boley answered, though, as both stepped up to the line and sank a pair of free throws when they were fouled, and then Gagle added a late bucket off a turnover for the games 10-point difference.
“I thought we showed a lot of heart to get ourselves back into it, but by that time they were in the one-and-one (bonus) and they played a great game,” Seggerson said. “I thought we were in a position late in the game to really close it, and I thought we made some really poor decisions both on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. I think we could have made that game a lot closer than what we did.”
Pat Stolley, the T-Birds top threat was held to 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting thanks in large part to some solid defense by Boley.
Boley meanwhile added eight points as did Gagle, while Kanney chipped in seven points.
Celina took 13 less shots than LCC, but the Bulldogs took advantage of those opportunities by making 20-of-34 shots for a 58-percent clip.
Celina improves to 13-4 while LCC falls to 11-5.


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