INMAN — Fifth-ranked Inman High School was not playing its best offensively, so head coach Bill Maurer knew defense would have to lead the way.
Fortunately, the Teutons brought their A-game and shut down a talented Little River team to improve to 16-3, holding on for a 35-25 win on Friday night. Inman jumped out to a 10-0 lead and held Little River scoreless for nearly 10 minutes to start the game.
By the time Little River put the ball through the hoop for the first time midway through the second quarter, they had built a deficit that they couldn't overcome.
"The lead was huge because we knew we our defense would have to carry us tonight,” Maurer said.
Despite holding Little River scoreless the entire first quarter, Inman was not able to pull away. Neither team scored for the first three minutes, and it took buckets by Olivia Clark and Rachel Harman in the quarter's final 65 seconds to create any separation.
After leading 6-0 at the end of one, Dantlie Raney made back-to-back shots to extend the lead to 10-0. Little River finally found the scoreboard on a bucket from the left block by Lily Boughfman with 5:12 left in the first half.
Little River was able to create a little more offense, but Inman maintained its 10-point lead, 18-8, at halftime.
Six straight points late in the third quarter from Emma McBride brought Little River to within 21-16, but Inman never allowed them to get any closer. From that moment, Inman outscored Little River 14-9 the rest of the way.
The Teutons had a balanced attack offensively, led by Raney's 10 points and eight points a piece from Kamryn Herren and Macy DeWitt.
McBride led Little River with 11 points, nine of which came in the second half.
The Teutons conclude the regular season on Tuesday at Herington. Little River hosts Stafford (1-18) on Tuesday in the first round of regionals.