DOVER -- If the Dover girls' basketball team could have scripted its final home game of the season, it probably wouldn't have been much different than what actually happened Tuesday night against Governor Mifflin.
The Eagles, reeling after their first and only loss of the season in the York-Adams League semifinals to Dallastown, played the first eight minutes of their District 3-AAAA opener like a team on a mission. Not even three minutes into the contest, the home team went on a 15-2 run to take complete control.
With the outcome all but decided with a 23-point lead at halftime, just about the only thing the Eagles could have wished for came to fruition as well. With 3:11 left in the third quarter, junior Alayah Hall (30 points, 11 rebounds) converted on a 3-point play that sent the standout over the 1,000-point milestone for her career.
And that gave a rowdy Dover student section more reason to celebrate the team's impressive 66-46 victory.
The triumph earned the Eagles (24-1) a quarterfinal contest against Hershey (20-3) at Carlisle High School on Friday, beginning at 6 p.m.
"That was a good 32 minutes," said Dover coach Troy Lokhaiser. "We started from the get-go with our pressure defense. I think the crowd did something for us. I think we played a complete game tonight."
As impressive as the dominating victory over the Mustangs (14-11) was, perhaps the most heralding moment of the night was when Hall hit the 1,000 mark. After converting on a layup while being fouled, Hall stepped to the line and knocked down the free throw that caused a brief delay as Hall was awarded the game ball.
The junior took the ball and raced into the stands to give it to her parents as the Dover student section cheered on just the third Eagle to ever reach that milestone. Only two others -- Tina Spahr (1,042, 1997) and Lisa Albright (1,217, 1985) -- have more points than Hall, who finished the night with 1,002 points for her career.
"I didn't know," Hall admitted. "I wasn't sure of how many I even had at halftime."
The likelihood that Hall would break the mark on her home court was doubtful coming in. Hall, after all, only went over 20 points once all season as she scored 23 in a victory over York Suburban. So for her to score a season-high 30 points was quite an unexpected accomplishment.
"We knew what she needed," Lokhaiser said. "We weren't expecting her to maybe hit it tonight, but it's nice that she got it at home and it's good for her."
Dover's early blitz was a combination of pressure defense (eight turnovers forced) and extremely hot shooting from the field (9-of-12). After eight minutes, the Eagles -- who average 47.3 points a contest -- were already up by a 24-4 margin.
"Oh my gosh ... that was crazy," said Dover's Maxine Herman. "I was just so pumped. I love starting 55 (a press) because we get pumped up and once we get one rebound, we just keep going."
Now Herman and Hall have their sights on a goal they set a couple years ago -- playing at the Giant Center. With a victory against Hershey on Friday night the Eagles will clinch not only a PIAA berth, but also a semifinal contest on the big floor in Chocolatetown.
"That's my dream," said Herman, a senior. "That's another goal for us. That's been my goal since freshman year."
"We're looking forward to that," Hall added.
Getting past a Hershey team that led for much of the contest before a furious Dover rally earned them a 51-46 victory in the season opener will be no easy task. Hershey, the No. 8 seed, downed Ephrata, 53-27, in its first-round game on Tuesday.
"(At least) we know that if they get up on us that we can come back," Hall said. "They were up by a lot. We were down by like 20."
Kara Funk finished with 10 points for the Eagles in Tuesday's win, while Herman chipped in nine. Emily Gingerich led the Mustangs with 12 points.
OTHER GIRLS' DISTRICT 3 BASKETBALL
MANHEIM TOWNSHIP 52, DALLASTOWN 43: At Neffsville, Manheim Township used a 27-for-36 performance from the foul line to defeat the Wildcats in a Class AAAA battle. Dallastown, the York-Adams champion, after scoring just 10 points in the first half, rallied with 33 points in the final half, but it wasn't enough to keep its season alive. Amari Johnson, a sophomore, led Dallastown with 12 points. The Wildcats closed the highly-successful season with a 19-7 record.
CENTRAL DAUPHIN 55, RED LION 51: At Central Dauphin, the Lions trailed 40-34 at the end of the third quarter and were unable to make up the deficit in a Class AAAA duel. Jen Horvatinovic led the Lions' offense with a game-high 18 points. Teammate Courtney Dimoff knocked in 12 points. The Rams out rebounded the Lions, 40-29. With the loss, Red Lion has been eliminated from the tournament and ends its season at 16-9 overall.
BIGLERVILLE 49, TULPEHOCKEN 43: At Biglerville, Katie Camara and Olivia Moore combined for 31 points to help power the Lady Canners into the quarterfinals of the Class AA Tournament. Biglerville built a nine-point lead over the first three quarters and held off Tulpehocken in the fourth quarter. The Canners were 10 of 19 from the foul line, and the Trojans were seven of 15. Biglerville, 15-8, moves on to play York-Adams League rival Delone Catholic on Friday. The game is set for 7 p.m. on the Squirettes' court.
HANOVER 49, NEWPORT 31: At Hanover, the Hawkettes pulled away in the final quarter by outscoring the visitors 20-4 to take command of the Class AA battle. Soukaina Tracy led the Hawkettes with a game-high 19 points. Teammate Zoie Cleary knocked in 10 points. With the victory, Hanover improves to 14-9 overall and moves on to face York-Adams League Division IV foe York Catholic. The Fighting Irish will play host in the quarterfinal-round game on Friday at 7 p.m.
--Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org