MANSFIELD — Defense and depth.
Despite being road weary, the team’s fourth straight away game and third contest in five days, and short-handed due to injuries, Lima Senior produced a 78-48 Tuesday over Mansfield Senior in a non league affair.
With the win, Lima Senior improves to 11-2 on the season. Mansfield Senior falls to 7-5.
The Spartans were without the services of Camren Miles and Janaiz Cameron but didn’t seem to miss a beat as defense continues to be one of Lima Senior’s strengths.
Even though the defense was key to the win, Lima Senior head coach Quincey Simpson said the team is still improving.
“There was some things defensively we would have liked to have done better,” Simpson said. “I think we did a great job of boxing out as a group and any time we get the opportunity to improve we always want to go back, watch film and try to go over that stuff in practice which we will do.”
Simpson added that the pressure they apply on teams gets them into an uptempo game and that plays right into the Spartans’ hands.
“We spend a lot of time working on things defensively so in order to win basketball game you have to defend and win at the glass. We can’t control whether our shots are going in but we can control our defense and keeping guys off the glass. I think I have some of the best guys in the area, the state that can defend. We take great pride in defense and when we are all on the same page defensively we are tough, tenacious, physical and fast.
Depth has also been an invaluable asset for the Spartans throughout the season.
Offensively, the Spartans began slow but heated up as the game went on, finishing with a season-high 13 3-pointers.
Khalil Luster, who had six of his own, finished with a game-high 22 points. Jereon Mayo pumped in 14 points and Ant Mosley added 11 points. Travis Bullock chipped in 10 points.
“Our rotation was a little different without having a couple of guys not here but some younger players stepped up,” Simpson said. “I thought Cecil Benton stepped up and Shalom Stout did a good job. Ant Moseley is coming around and playing a lot better and a lot stronger.”
Simpson added that he even played freshman Kaden Hampton, who gained valuable varsity experience and sophomore Zion Jackson, who also gained some quality time on the court.
“The thing about those guys is they understand our identity,” Simpson said. “They came in and played tough defensively and knew where they were supposed to be and they got some points on the board which was good for them.”
Lima Senior’s defense was instrumental in giving the Spartans the early lead.
The Spartan defense was getting the job done early but the offense struggled to find its footing, facing the Tygers’ 2-3 zone defense. A trio of treys helped the Spartans gain the 14-8 lead after the first period.
By the second period, the Spartans began to find their rhythm and scored easy transition buckets and took a commanding 23-8 lead after putting together an 11-0 run with four minutes left in the half.
The Tygers’ first bucket in the second stanza came at the 3:34 mark and by halftime the Spartans led 27-10. Mansfield managed two field goals in the second quarter.
Tyger Maurice Ware was the lone Mansfield Senior play to score in double digits with 12 points.
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.