The Red Lion High Lady Lions continued their fast start to the girls' basketball season on Friday night with a sound 80-54 victory over a young Colonial team at New Oxford.
Under head coach Don Dimoff, the Lion program is known for its ball movement, something that was showcased to the tune of 25 assists on 34 field goals Friday.
"We have our ups and downs," Dimoff said. "Tonight, we passed the ball well and looked for each other. We have a really unselfish team. The girls don't care who scores."
Senior forward Jenny Horvatinovic was the leading scorer with 26 points, but contributed in other ways to come within shouting distance of a quadruple-double. Horvatinovic piled up nine steals, five rebounds and six assists, along with numerous pass deflections that did not result in turnovers.
Kasey Seitz posted six assists, while Courtney Dimoff added five assists for the victors.
After a hard-fought first quarter which saw the Lions escape with a 14-13 lead, the visitors opened things up in the second quarter by scoring 26 points and holding New Oxford to just 11.
Right at the center of the scoring spurt was Horvatinovic, who wreaked havoc on New Oxford ballhandlers in the backcourt.
In the second quarter, Horvatinovic twice had backcourt steals that led directly to layups during a 19-4 Red Lion run. She came up with a steal directly under the basket and scored a layup to make it 21-13 and thenm after consecutive buckets by New Oxford, Horvatinovic drilled a 3-pointer and a reverse layup.
"We came out a little slow in the first," Horvatinovic said. "In the second quarter, we started to get more steals and deflections and I think it rattled (New Oxford) a bit. Our success turned into more success."
By halftime, the Lions led 40-24.
"That was the quarter I thought we did play a little better defense," said Dimoff, who thought the overall defense needed to improve. "We got some turnovers and some easy baskets and got on a roll. It was the old 'defense creates offense' in that situation."
New Oxford head coach Mike Sanders was also preaching the importance of defense to his young team.
"I told the girls after the game that, until defense matters, this is the way it's going to be against good teams," Sanders said. "We'll get there. It's a process. We only have one player with varsity experience. It's a big difference for sophomores coming up from JV. Players are bigger, faster, and stronger."
New Oxford (3-6, 1-4 YAIAA I) did hit six 3-pointers as a team, with Jensen Sneeringer and Lindsey Miller each hitting three. Sneeringer scored 16 points, and Miller had 14, while Emily Clinton dished out a team-high six assists.
"We did a good job of attacking their zones and getting open shots," Sanders said, "and we did a good job throwing it inside, but once the wheels fell off (defensively), the wheels fell off."
RED LION (80)
Jenny Horvatinovic 12 0-1 26, Devan Horka 5 2-4 12, Morgan Kuehne 7 0-0 14, Seitz 2 3-4 7, Dimoff 3 0-0 8, Funke 1 0-0 2, Ness 1 2-2 5, Kendrick 2 0-0 4, Harvey 1 0-0 2, Dengler 0 0-0 0. Totals34 7-11 80.
NEW OXFORD (54)
Lindsey Miller 5 1-3 14, Lawrence 4 0-0 8, Jensen Sneeringer 5 3-3 16, Clinton 2 3-3 7, Crone 4 1-3 9, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Eargle 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0, French 0 0-0 0. Totals20 8-12 54.
Red Lion 14 26 24 16 -- 80
New Oxford 13 11 13 17 -- 54
3-point goals -- Red Lion 5 (Horvatinovic 2, Dimoff 2, Ness); New Oxford 6 (Miller 3, Sneeringer 3).
JV score -- No game.