HESPERIA — A strong defense in the first half allowed Holton’s girls basketball team to get off to a good start against Hesperia in Friday night’s regular season finale, and the Red Devils rolled on to a 42-31 victory on the road in the Central State Activities Association-Silver.
With their defense limiting the Panthers to just six points in the first 16 minutes, the Red Devils scored 18 and entered the halftime break with a 12-point lead, 18-6.
The Panthers came out fired up for the third quarter and outscored the Red Devils, 16-12 but still were on the short end of a 30-22 score entering the fourth period.
Holton removed any doubt with a 12-9 edge in the final eight minutes.
Emmet Tinkham finished with 22 points for the Panthers. She also hauled down 12 rebounds. Emma Joppich also was tough on the boards with 10 rebounds.
“Our game plan was to limit Tinkham from touching the ball,” said Holton coach Robert Jordan. “We did a decent job of that in the first half, limiting her to four points, but it fell apart in the second half.
“She got plenty of touches, and through these touches she got hot. Some were very tough shots, and we can live with those. But, not happy that she was getting whatever she wanted in the second half. We have to do a better job Monday.”
June Newell and Alanna Cregg each scored 10 points for the Red Devils. Ryan Robins finished with eight points and 10 rebounds. Courtney Boes had another active night with five points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals.
“We played our best game of the year against a quality opponent,” said Hesperia coach Vince Grodus. “I am really proud of the effort, intensity and hustle our team showed. Just like they have all year, our team never gave up and played hard for the entire game.”
Hesperia finished the regular season 2-15 overall and 0-10 in the conference. The Panthers open district play Monday against the host Red Devils at 5:30 p.m.
The Red Devils improve to 13-7 overall and ended the conference slate 6-4.