Red Lion girls' basketball team rolls into District 3 Class 6-A quarterfinals
- The Red Lion girls' basketball team earned a 52-29 win vs. Warwick on Monday.
- That win advanced the Lions to the District 3 Class 6-A quarterfinals on Thursday.
- The Lions will visit Gov. Mifflin at 7 p.m. Thursday. Both teams enter at 20-5.
- The Dallastown girls' team also earned a District 3 Class 6-A win on Monday.
RED LION — Playing a District 3 Class 6-A first-round contest on their own court certainly was exciting for the Red Lion girls’ basketball players.
Perhaps a little too exciting at the start.
A pumped-up Lions team hoped to quickly take command of Monday’s contest against Lancaster-Lebanon League foe Warwick.
Instead of doing that, the Warriors took advantage of the overly hyped Lions to go up 5-0 early, prompting Red Lion coach Don Dimoff to use a quick timeout.
After Dimoff delivered a brief re-hashing of the game plan, the Lions' response was certainly pleasing to its coach. Dimoff’s timeout sparked a 10-0 run which completely changed the momentum and complexion of the contest.
Aided by a big game from junior Makiah Shaw (20 points) and a stout defense, which produced 20 turnovers, the Lions were able to overcome a slow start en route to a convincing 52-29 triumph.
Making shots a key: The fifth-seeded Lions (20-5) move on to the quarterfinal round against No. 4 Gov. Mifflin (20-5), which had a first-round bye, at 7 p.m. Thursday at Gov. Mifflin Intermediate School.
“They played exactly the same defense that Dallastown did the other night,” Dimoff said, referring to last Wednesday’s 35-30 loss to the Wildcats in the York-Adams semifinals. “The difference tonight was that everyone looked to shoot and they made them. Imagine that?”
While their looks offensively were never easy, the Lions were able to ride the smooth play of Shaw throughout the contest. The Y-A League’s No. 3 scorer tallied six points during the initial 10-point run that flipped the advantage toward the home squad.
“Tonight, she was a lot more aggressive,” Dimoff said of Shaw. “She looked to score more, but I think we all looked to score more, which is a good thing.”
Asia Eames added eight points for the Lions, while Chole Tollinger and Julia Beiler chipped in seven points apiece.
“Yeah, they (all three) looked to take ‘em and they made ‘em,” Dimoff said. “When the ball goes in, coaching is really easy, and they made some shots tonight that made it easier.”
Another shot at Gov. Mifflin: While things went smoothly for the most part against the No. 12 seeded Warriors (12-11), Dimoff and Shaw know that will likely not be the case over the remainder of the playoffs.
That starts with a rematch with the Mustangs Thursday. Red Lion and Gov. Mifflin met up in the first round in last season’s district opener, with the Mustangs claiming a 37-29 victory.
Red Lion held a 23-21 lead heading into the fourth quarter of that contest, but Sydney Payne drilled a pair of 3-pointers during an 11-0 run in the final period to lift the Mustangs.
“I just remember that we were up, but (Payne) just went on a big run,” Shaw said. “She just made several 3s, and that’s how she got her team up.”
Shaw is hoping her team doesn’t feel a similar "Payne" Thursday.
“She’s a very good shooter,” Shaw said. “And we only have two days to prepare, but we have to work hard and just go into that game with confidence.”
OTHER GIRLS' BASKETBALL
Dallastown 43, Ephrata 41: At Ephrata, the Wildcats jumped out to a 17-4 lead after the first quarter and then held on for the District 3 Class 6-A first-round victory. D'Shantae Edwards' 15-point effort led Dallastown. The ninth-seeded Wildcats, fresh off a second-straight York-Adams League title, improved to 19-7. Eighth-seeded Ephrata finished at 17-7. Dallastown next faces top-seeded Central Dauphin (23-1) at 7 p.m. Thursday in a quarterfinal on the Rams' home court. CD had a bye in the first round.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.