Many would be hard-pressed to remember a girls' basketball team coming into Red Lion and putting up a 21 fourth-quarter points -- not to mention having a chance to win.
However, that is what Susquehannock did Friday night.
Trailing by one, Alexis Murphy dove to the floor, grabbing an offensive rebound as the Warriors used their final timeout with 15 seconds remaining.
But the Lions didn't allow an open look on the ensuing inbound pass, and Susquehannock's contested shot went long off the backboard. Following a free throw, Red Lion held on for a 54-52 victory.
"If you would have told me before the game we were going to win by two, I would have taken it," Lions coach Don Dimoff said. "The fourth quarter I thought we played not to lose rather than to win.
"We panicked. We've got a lot of kids that haven't been in that situation, but we got outworked, we got outhustled and we made poor decisions, which added up to a comeback for them."
Red Lion (4-0, 2-0 YAIAA) led 47-31 heading into the final eight minutes. However, the Warriors' pressure defense forced five turnovers in less than three minutes.
Driving hard to the basket, Susquehannock's offense also came to life. Similar to the Lions in the first half, when Warrior shots didn't fall, offensive rebounds led to second-chance points.
Katie Wagner scored nine of her game-high 20 points, and Jeanette Wilson had seven of her 15 in the fourth quarter for Susquehannock (3-1, 1-1).
"I don't think there has been that many teams that came in here and scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, especially in a situation where it was a game," Warriors coach Dave Schreiner said. "I was proud of our kids. We need to take from this what the rest of the season could be like."
Yet Schreiner knows the outcome could have been different.
"Tonight we didn't finish enough things. We got a lot of opportunities, even in that last minute to take the lead, and it didn't happen," he said. "We had that last timeout, I set up something and we got exactly what we wanted and didn't finish."
The Lions looked unstoppable in the first half en route to a 37-24 lead at the intermission. Despite only one returning starter from last season's YAIAA championship team, Red Lion's offense was in sync and had good looks at the basket.
Senior Jen Horvatinovic and freshman Courtney Dimoff had 16 points apiece to lead the Lions. Morgan Kuehne added 10, eight of which came during the first half.
Courtney Dimoff's 3-pointer gave Red Lion a 50-39 lead midway through the fourth, but it set the stage for Susquehannock's frantic comeback.
"I was very pleased with how the first three quarters went," Don Dimoff said. "That is one of the best teams in the league, and we had a 17-point lead on them. If we could get a 17-point lead against them we must have been doing something right. But it was our mistakes ... The bottom line is we are going to learn from that. And I would rather learn with a win than a loss."
Royer 0 0-0 0, Knox 0 0-0 0, Jeanette Wilson 7 0-1 15, Deter 0 0-0 0, Fancher 1 0-0 2, Murphy 3 1-3 8, Barnhart 0 0-0 0, Stone 0 0-1 0, Voltaggio 0 0-0 0, Druck 3 1-2 7, Katie Wagner 7 4-6 20. Totals21 6-13 52.
RED LION (54)
Workinger 0 2-2 2, Seitz 3 2-6 8, Morgan Kuehne 2 6-7 10, Horka 1 0-2 2, Kendrick 0 0-0 0, Ness 0 0-0 0, Courtney Dimoff 6 1-2 16, Jen Horvatinovic 5 5-7 16. Totals17 16-26 54.
Susquehannock 14 10 7 21 -- 52
Red Lion 19 18 10 7 -- 54
3-point goals -- Susquehannock 4 (Wagner 2, Wilson, Murphy); Red Lion 4 (Dimoff 3, Horvatinovic).
JV score -- Red Lion, 45-24.