By Craig Beilfuss

HOLTON—The Holton Red Devils struggled at first on the offensive end but the defense carried the host school to post a 48-14 win over Hesperia on Monday evening in the opening round of district basketball action at Holton high school.

Holton held a slim 9-6 lead after the first eight minutes of play, however, went on to shutout the Panthers in the second stanza while scoring nine points in the quarter to take an 18-6 halftime lead.

It was more of the same in the third quarter with the Red Devils outscoring Hesperia 9-2 and securing the win with a 21-6 fourth quarter margin.

Ryann Robins led Holton with a game high 15 points to go with a team high 13 rebounds. June Newell finished with seven points. Courtney Boes grabbed 10 rebounds. Ten Red Devil player’s found the scoring column.

“I challenged my team after the way the game ended on Friday. Hesperia outplayed us in that second half,” said Holton coach BJ Jordan.

“We wanted to limit Tinkam and unlike Friday we were able to keep her under wraps all night.”

Emma Joppich led Hesperia with six points, while Emmet Tinkham tossed in four points and Maddie Norberg and Abigail Joppich each tossed in two points repectively for the Panthers.

Holton improves to 14-7 overall and will move on to face Hart on Wednesday evening in the Holton district. The Pirates will come in with a 16-3 record. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m.

Photo/Leo Valdez

“We will need our best game of the year, and will have to compete to the best of our abilities, it’s a great opportunity for this young team” said Jordan, about facing Hart.

“Tonight (Monday) was fun, Wednesday is a whole other animal. Hart is a great team. I’ve seen them in person this year. I went to that second Montague game, and they have developed a great culture there. They do several things well and have balance. I know they press and play a up-tempo style. Addi Hovey is a force regardless of the fact she is a freshman….great athlete and I was super impressed with Aspen Boutell. She is a floor general. We are definitely the underdogs,” said the Holton coach.

Hesperia finishes the season with a 2-16 record.

Hesperia girls basketball coach Vince Grodus during a timeout on Monday evening (Photo/Leo Valdez)