The New Oxford High Colonials were able to keep the tempo of the game just where they wanted it, but some clutch foul shooting down the stretch enabled the Red Lion Lions to escape with a boys' basketball win Monday night at New Oxford High School.
The Lions (9-5, 4-4 YAIAA I) got six straight foul shots from junior guard Evan Miller over the final 40 seconds of the game to hold off the Colonials (3-10, 2-5 YAIAA II) 43-37.
Facing a huge height disadvantage, the Colonials elected to slow down the pace of the game and limited the number of possessions each team would get.
It worked perfectly as the game was tied at 4-4 after the first eight minutes of play. The Lions didn't get on the scoreboard for the first seven minutes of the game, and it took a long shot by Kevin Hutchinson with one second on the first-quarter clock to tie the game.
The second period picked up a little, but not much. New Oxford managed its largest lead of the game at 10-7, only to see the Lions score the final five points of the period to take a 12-10 lead at the half. A 3-pointer by Red Lion's Austin Huson gave Red Lion the lead with 1:38 left in the half and no one was able to score the rest of the half.
Baskets by Mike Fox and Hutchinson to open the third period allowed the Lions to quickly increase their lead to 16-10. It appeared the Lions were on the verge of breaking open the game.
The Colonials didn't let it happen as they had a 10-5 advantage over the rest of the quarter to draw within one point, 21-20, heading into the final period.
New Oxford took a 25-23 lead, but Red Lion got a 3-pointer from Huson to regain the lead with 5:45 on the clock and never trailed after that.
Red Lion had built an eight-point lead in the period, only to see the Colonials come back to make it a two-point game at 37-35. At that point, the Lions kept the ball in Miller's hands as New Oxford was forced to foul.
"Miller was absolutely the guy we wanted with the ball," Red Lion coach Steve Schmehl said. "He had only six points, but when the game is on the line, we know to get the ball to him.
"New Oxford does a real good job of playing physical and getting good weak side help. We were able to throw the ball over the top a few times. but usually you don't get many chances against them because they are always in the right position."
Led by Hutchinson's 10 points, Red Lion put seven players in the scoring column.
"I thought we did a good job of playing at our pace," New Oxford coach Jim Zinn said. "We just happened to pick the wrong guy to foul at the end. We also were able to keep their height off the boards. Marc (O'Brien), Ross (Starner) and Wes (Beans) were able to get position for the rebounds."
The Colonials got 10 points from Starner and Alex Decinti while knocking down five 3-pointers.
A 22-3 run in the second half allowed Red Lion to take the jayvee game, 47-30. Aaron Gebhart led New Oxford with 12 points while Red Lion got 16 points from Wyatt Tyson and 14 points from Jason Rebuck.
RED LION (43)
Fox 3 3-4 9, Miller 0 6-6 6, Huson 3 0-0 8, McCreary 1 0-0 2, Kevin Hutchinson 5 0-0 10, Cahill 1 0-0 2, Wambaugh 0 0-0 0, Rebuck 2 2-3 6.. Totals 15 11 13-43.
NEW OXFORD (37)
Kibler 4 0-0 9, Trimmer 0 0-0 0, Ross Starner 4 1-2 10, Beans 1 0-0 2, Wildasin 0 0-0 0, O'Brien 1 1-2 3, Alex Decinti 4 0-0 10, Ernst 1 0-0 3. Totals 15 2-4 37.
Red Lion 4 8 9 22 -- 43
New Oxford 4 6 10 17 -- 37
3-point goals -- Red Lion 2 (Huson 2); New Oxford 5 (Decinti 2, Ernst, Kibler, Starner ).
JV score -- Red Lion 47, New Oxford 30.