SANFORD — Here’s the thing you need to remember about Scarborough High’s girls’ basketball team. No matter who is in the lineup, or who is out of it, the Red Storm is always going to play tenacious defense.

And Friday night Scarborough rode that defense to a 46-26 victory over Sanford in a Class AA South game. Scarborough held the Spartans scoreless in the second quarter to open a 10-point lead it never lost.

“We’re going to have to play as a team,” said Scarborough senior guard Madison Blanche. “It’s not just going to be one person doing everything. We have to stay together and a team and even when things aren’t going well, we have to make sure we keep our heads up and keep our heads on defense because that’s what’s going to win games down the line.”

Scarborough is now 2-1, while Sanford drops to 1-2.

The defending Class AA South champion Red Storm will play the season without senior guard Julia Freeman, the team’s leading scorer from last year who suffered a knee injury just before preseason began. And, said Coach Mike Giordano, until his team finds some consistent offensive options, defense is going to dictate its success.

“Coach emphasizes it all the time,” said Blanche, who had 10 points and four assists. “Offense isn’t always going to be on and shots aren’t always going to go in. But what you can control is your effort on defense so that’s what you need to focus on.”

And, said sophomore Lindsay Fiorillo, “with defense comes offense. We have to work really hard on defense because that’s what you can control. It really helps bring our offense together.”

Fiorillo brought the offense Friday night too. She led Scarborough with 12 points and hit two of the Red Storm’s seven 3-pointers.

“She’s the most improved player in the program from last year to this year,” said Giordano. “She’s played well in all three of our games. She’s just playing with a lot of confidence this year.”

The Red Storm led 12-10 entering the second quarter, taking the lead with 1:38 remaining in the first on a 3-pointer by Fiorillo from the left wing.

Fiorillo would score six points in the second quarter to help Scarborough to a 20-10 halftime lead. The Spartans, who play a similar style as the Red Storm, simply couldn’t get anything going.

Sanford missed all 10 shots it took in the second quarter, committed five turnovers and missed four foul shots. In all, the Spartans would endure a scoreless streak of 10:35 before Paige Cote (10 points) scored 17 seconds into the third.

Sanford missed 10 foul shots in the game.

“That will not get it done,” said Sanford Coach Rossie Kearson. “For us, it’s going back, looking at film, understanding what it is, in terms of situational basketball, and just trying to get better.”

Sanford would get no closer than eight points in the second half. Each time the Spartans tried to make a run, the Red Storm responded. Sanford got withing 36-23 with 6:03 remaining on a 3-pointer by Jaylyn Bartolome, but Scarborough’s Kayla Conley (10 points) responded with a 3 of her own.

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