LIMA — Back-to-back blowout wins.
After Lima Senior dispensed of Clay, 83-47, in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference opener Friday night, the Spartans followed it up with a 77-51 win Saturday night against long-time rival Middletown.
Lima Senior improves to 2-1 on the season and Middletown falls to 0-3.
“We think our best offense is our defense,” Spartan head coach Quincey Simpson said. “We want to pressure the ball and turn guys over. We had a lot of energy defensively and that obviously that results into some easy points on the other end.”
Simpson added that this team has too much talent and speed not to play solid defense and there is still plenty of room for improvement.
“They are buying into it right now but we are not where we want to be,” Simpson said. “Right now it is not even close to where we want it to be. We are seeing some pieces and some bright things from it.”
Lima Senior’s smothering defense proved to be difference and it began from the tip-off.
The Spartans, by forcing numerous turnovers and converting them into easy transition buckets, opened up a quick 11-2 lead at the 5:27 mark and that lead would jump to 22 points, 27-5, by the end of the first quarter.
In the first eight minutes, Middletown had 11 turnovers and most were converted into easy Spartan buckets.
An 8-2 run to open the second stanza solidified the Spartans’ lead and Lima Senior owned a 35-9 with 4:54 remaining in the first half. From this point, the Middies would never get within 20 points of the Spartans.
In addition to defense, the Spartans’ offense continues to produce big numbers. While they did not match the 14 treys they had against Clay, Lima Senior hit eight 3-pointers on the night.
Ten Spartans scored and three Lima Senior players broke the double-digit barrier in scoring. Camren Miles, who came off the bench, led the way with 16 points followed by Josiah Fulcher with 11 and Khalil Luster chipped in 10 points.
The blowouts have provided Simpson with the luxury of playing an assortment of lineups and players as he still searches for the right combinations.
“We are going to go about eight deep and any time we can get those out of the game and resting that is a good thing,” Simpson said. “We still need to work on continuity, running the lanes and we are not getting enough deflections. We chart our deflections and we are not getting enough of them. We want to have around 35 a game.”
Keifaunte Powell led Middletown in scoring with 11 points.
With powerhouse St. Francis looming Tuesday, Simpson said he hopes to build on these two wins.
“There is a lot of mistakes that we have seen as a staff that we need to fix,” Simpson said. “We got the win and we continue to get better and hopefully we build on it. We want to continue to play at a high energy level and it is going to take some time and some games to get that consistency down but we definitely have the pieces.”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.