DOVER — It wasn’t pretty, but that doesn’t really matter much to Dover girls’ basketball coach Kevin Glover.
At this time of year, in a win-or-go-home contest in the first round of the District 3 Class 5-A playoffs, winning is all that matters. So even with a few hiccups here and there, Glover and company were all smiles Tuesday evening after the Eagles rallied past No. 10 Fleetwood, 56-44, on their home court.
Seventh-seeded Dover improved to 18-6 and set up a quarterfinal showdown with York-Adams Division II rival Susquehannock. The No. 2 seeded Warriors cruised past Mechanicsburg, 51-27, in another first-round clash Tuesday.
“The most important thing is getting the ‘W’ and advancing,” Glover said.
Overall it was an outstanding showing by the York-Adams League in the 5-A bracket. New Oxford, the No. 3 seed, downed Muhlenberg, 59-43, while No. 9 West York took out No. 8 Greencastle-Antrim, 43-38.
The visitors from Berks County definitely put up a fight. They led midway through the first quarter before Rajah Fink started to heat up. The York-Adams League’s leading scorer got off to a slow start in the first and third quarters, but turned it up in the second and fourth. Not coincidentally, the Eagles gained separation in both stanzas.
Fink tallied nine of her game-high 27 points in the second quarter to send the Eagles into the break with a 27-19 advantage.
“The intensity and execution wasn’t there at times, but they played through it,” Glover said. “We definitely feed off (Rajah’s) energy.”
The Tigers drew within four points in the third when the Eagles went cold from the field. Dover managed just one point over the first five-plus minutes until Fink converted on a steal and score. Just a few moments later the Eagles pushed their lead to 10 behind the talented junior guard.
Fink continued to pour in the points, scoring nine more in the fourth to help her team gain some separation.
Glover pointed out that Fink’s hot-hand was contagious. Alaina Reaver scored 11 of her 12 points in the second half.
“I’m proud of the way they all worked as a group,” Glover said. “They made some good things happen.”
Glover is hoping that continues Friday when the Eagles travel to Glen Rock to take on Susquehannock for a third time this season. Both regular-season showdowns were close (five- and eight-point Warrior wins) and neither team has many secrets.
“We have to compete for four quarters,” Glover said. “If you don’t compete for four quarters against them you’ll wind up on the losing end. We have to go into their house and get the job done.”
Gabby Coley finished with 11 points for Dover. Gabby Downs, who led Fleetwood in scoring for the year at 18 points a game, was held to 15.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.