Local Sports

Girls basketball: Spartans outpace Tigers in conference opener

by Calli Newberry

Once the Imlay City High School girls basketball team took the lead halfway through the first quarter, it never looked back as the Spartans’ fast-paced game propelled them to a 47-29 victory on the road over Armada in the BWAC opener. 

The Tigers came ready to play and jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, but as Imlay City settled into its full-court press, Armada lost momentum. By the buzzer, it was 14-5. 

“With us being so small, our transition from defense to offense with our fastbreaks is what’s really going to go ahead and be beneficial to us overall,” Imlay City head coach Heather Lauwers said. “We have some nice outside shooters this year, we’ve been a little consistent on that end, so as long as we go ahead and kick it up the floor, we’ll have different opportunities.”

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And that’s exactly what her team was able to do last night. The Spartans ran the floor with quick passing and sank four 3-pointers en route to their first conference win.

“I think we were really excited to start our league play. I think with our energy and intensity, we’ve been waiting for it since Sunday,” Lauwers said. “We’re just going day by day and game by game and for each competition, just not taking it lightly and just doing what we’ve got to do to take care of business.” 

Senior guard Mary Lengemann led the way with 17 points, six of which came from three consecutive shots to close out the fourth quarter. 

“I try to make the right play every play, whether it’s dishing the ball or going up, I just want to win, that’s my main priority. If I’m open I’m going to shoot the ball,” Mary Lengemann said. “I have confidence and I’ve put the work in where I feel confident in my shot and confident that every shot I shoot is going to go in.” 

“Mary leads us every single game, it doesn’t matter the competition,” Lauwers said. “She sets the tone…She just leads the floor and the team looks up to her so if she’s ready to go and she’s pushing the ball up and down the girls are going to run right there with her.”

Running right along with Mary was her twin sister Ana Lengemann, a guard, who chipped in with eight points, including a pair of threes and a steal that ended in a quick layup. 

At halftime, Imlay City held a 22-10 lead and only extended it in the second half. Even as Armada seemed to come alive in the fourth quarter, scoring more than half of its total points, the Spartans still took the edge, 17-15, to keep pace. 

Freshman guard Ashlyn Upton and senior guard Hailey Schramm led the Tigers offensively with seven points a piece. For Upton, five came in less than three minutes during the fourth quarter. 

Imlay City (3-1) will host Richmond (1-2) this Friday in another conference contest for its home opener. Armada (2-3) will stay home and host Almont (1-4) and look to correct its three-game losing streak. 

“Armada was gunning for us and I think we’re going to have a big target on our back from every team in the league for sure, probably every team we play,” Mary Lengemann said. “I think that just means we have to work extra hard in practice and we can’t come into any game thinking it’s a slouch.” 

For the Spartans, she said that sometimes even means scrimmaging against the Imlay City boys team. 

“We bring in the boys sometimes to play against each other and it gets heated. It’s nice to play against the boys because they’re quicker and faster and it ups the competitive level,” she said. “I think everyone on the team has a really competitive attitude all the time.” 

Scores from last night’s BWAC matchups: 

Yale 37, Richmond 26

North Branch 48, Almont 44

Algonac 30, Croswell-Lexington 26

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