At 3-3 going into the new year, the East Syracuse-Minoa girls basketball team rose back to a winning mark in a decisive manner with back-to-back OHSL Freedom division wins.
The Spartans first went above .500 during Tuesday night's 64-28 romp over Mexico. Suffocating on the defensive side and productive enough on the offensive side, ESM had a 32-12 edge by halftime and did not let up one bit.
Olivia Luciani led with 21 points, including four 3-pointers. Brooke Gilkey (11 points) and Gabby Eure (10 points) balanced it out on the inside as Julie Maselli contributed seven points.
It proved closer on Thursday night, when the Spartans went to Fulton, but a steady effort allowed ESM to beat the Red Raiders 59-46.
Here, Fulton kept up with the brisk pace for a while, the Spartans only leading 18-15 after one period. ESM tightened on the defensive side, though, and with that the margin grew to 34-23 by halftime, and stayed at double digits most of the rest of the way.
Eure had her way in the paint, setting a new career mark with 21 points. Balance came from the perimeter as Luciani earned 11 points, Maselli threw in nine points and Gilkey had seven points.
ESM's boys team made up its snowed-out Dec. 7 opener with Christian Brothers Academy on Tuesday and kept up for a half before falling to the Brothers 77-59.
All through the first half, the two sides traded the lead, ending up deadlocked 34-34. But the Spartans' defense got picked apart in the third quarter as CBA used a 23-12 run to move ahead for good.
Matt Placito still had 18 points as he, Sharif Nero (16 points) and Joe Greco (15 points) accounted for most of the Spartans' production. By contrast, 11 different CBA players got into the scoring column as Andy Drescher (14 points), Rob Cuomo (13 points) and Greg Thomson (12 points) set the pace.