Spartans’ trio in tune

First Posted: 1/22/2015

LIMA — Essence Cowan, Rion Thompson and Imara Haynes helped Lima Senior hit Fremont Ross from just about every conceivable angle Thursday.

From the outside, inside and everything in between, the trio played a big part in the Spartans dropping the Little Giants 62-45 in a Three Rivers Athletic Conference game.

Lima Senior improved to 9-5 overall, 3-4 in the TRAC while Fremont Ross fell to 3-9, 1-5.

“We came game ready,” said Cowan, a 5-foot-6 junior guard. “We had the right mindset and we got the W.”

Cowan made 5-of-12 3-point shots and finished with 17 points, Thompson had a game-high 20 points and 10 rebounds and Haynes finished with 10 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots. Miea Ward finished with another 10 points for the Spartans while Shaquayla Johnson ripped down 10 rebounds.

“Essence is playing in a really good rhythm,” Lima Senior coach Vince Halliday said. “Rion is our scorer but we need Essence to make shots because it really opens things up.

“Imara Haynes, that’s her second game in a row like that. Tuesday against Elida, she had 17 points, 17 boards and nine blocked shots. She changes a lot of shots, being tall (6-foot) and rebounding like that. For us that’s big because when we get a defensive rebound and push, we’re so much better in transition.”

After a decent first quarter in which Lima Senior grabbed a 16-12 lead, the Spartans went off in the second with an immediate 9-0 run and outscored the Little Giants 22-7 in the quarter. Lima Senior led 38-19 at half on 7-of-19 field goals and forcing nine turnovers.

“It was a great quarter,” Thompson said. “We got the ball moving and knocked down shots. Our defensive energy was great. We’re crashing the boards and sharing the ball and that’s got us playing well.”

Midway through the third quarter, Lima Senior had a 47-25 lead but Fremont Ross slowly began to creep back in as Elayna Ackerman had nine of her 17 points in the third.

Fremont continued its push until it cut the deficit to 55-43 with 2:53 remaining, but Cowan sunk her final 3 of the game to give the Spartans a 58-43 lead that stopped the comeback.

“We just went ice cold in the middle of the third,” Halliday said. “The ball movement slowed down. In the second, we went to a zone and they really struggled making shots. In the third, I thought we got a little lazy with our zone. We went back to a man late and started sharing it more and it got our energy level back up.”

Lima Senior outrebounded Fremont Ross 40-32.

“We’re playing well right now,” Cowan said. “We’re crashing the boards well, boxing out and rotating the ball more. It’s just a matter of us sharing the ball, when we do that it just seems like everything goes so well.”

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