FINDLAY - Bowling Green experienced trouble guarding Lima Senior's Anton Hutchins early and never found an answer for stopping the Spartans' offensive ace.
Hutchins, a 6-foot-4 senior, poured in a game-high 36 points to lead Lima to a commanding 74-60 victory in a Division I boys basketball sectional final last night at Liberty-Benton.
The Bobcats fell behind the Spartans by as much as 20 points before making a late push and coming as close as eight in the second half.
"We played only 16 minutes of Bowling Green basketball tonight," BG coach Von Graffin said. "We played well in the second half and the first half was all Lima Senior."
Chauncey Orr scored 14 of his team-high 24 points after halftime to lead the Bobcats. Xavier Brown and Tony Dible provided 14 points each to help BG's cause against a Lima squad that dominated near the basket.
"We didn't rebound the basketball in the first half and we didn't shoot the ball well early and got a little gun-shy and didn't attack," Graffin said of the Bobcats, who finished 20 of 48 shooting from the field.
Meanwhile, the Spartans, who were 29-of-60 from the field, scored most of their points from close range. More often than not, Hutchins was responsible for scoring in the three-second lane for Lima.
"They didn't have an answer for him because he didn't settle for a jump shot and he took it to the basket," Lima coach Shawn Allen said.
Tyler White came through with 16 points for Lima, which closed out the first quarter with an 18-9 lead.
The Spartans outscored the Bobcats 21-11 in the second quarter to take a 39-20 cushion into halftime.
However, BG regrouped at the break. After falling behind 47-27, BG closed out the third quarter with a 13-0 run to make it 47-39. Orr scored 11 of his points during the period, including three straight baskets during the final 40 seconds.
But BG's momentum didn't carry into the fourth quarter, which was delayed for several minutes because of a scoreboard malfunction. The scoreboard had BG leading Lima 178-47 before it was finally corrected.
Graffin thought the stall in action worked in Lima's favor.
"It gave them a chance to regroup," Graffin said.
Contact Donald Emmons at: