Red Lion girls facing another low-post challenge
This is becoming a theme for the Red Lion girls during this dramatic state playoff run. Each game the Lions play, it seems, they are matched against an elite forward.
This makes sense of course, this being the state playoffs and all. But it seems Red Lion's frontcourt has been especially challenged of late.
In their second round win against Council Rock South, the Lions limited 6-foot-3 Alex Wheatley to eight points.
In Friday quarterfinal, Red Lion had to contend with 6-foot-2, Villanova-bound forward Emily Leer. She finished with 14 points.
Tuesday, the Lions will be tasked with slowing down Archbishop Ryan senior Jess Koci, who is headed to La Salle after this season.
Koci might not be as the last two forwards Red Lion has faced (she's 5-foot-9), but she can certainly hold her own. The senior is averaging 18.4 points per game this. She scored 21 in the Ragdolls' 42-40 win over Council Rock North on Friday.
"They're a tough, solid team," Red Lion coach Don Dimoff said of Ryan. "They're going to fight you tooth and nail, a lot like us. They obviously have the inside presence and that's going to be a tough challenge to neutralize them. "
The Lions will almost certainly need another big game out of sophomore forward Erica Maciejewski. She scored 11 points the Lions double-overtime victory against Abington, including the game-winning basket.
"It was definitely luck," Maciejewski said of her bucket with a second left. "But it went in, that's all that matters."
Of course, if the Lions can be effective at slowing down dominant inside players before of their press. Because Red Lion prevents a team from settling into their half-court offense much of the time, there are fewer opportunities for forwards to post up.
Dimoff's uniquely persistent press also make the Lions particularly hard to prepare for.
"It's definitely fun," the sophomore said of Red Lion's pressure style. "You can see when teams get frustrated."