TUESDAY'S DISTRICT 3 GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Red Lion rolls past Cedar Crest in 6-A opener
RED LION – Under head coach Don Dimoff, the Red Lion girls' basketball team has long been known for bringing the defensive pressure.
Tuesday night in a District 3 Class 6-A first-round game, the Lions again showcased that trait against 10th-seeded Cedar Crest.
The bracket’s seventh seed never let up, hounding the visiting Falcons every time they had the ball. That pressure forced 20-plus turnovers, which helped fuel an impressive 60-30 triumph by the homestanding Lions.
Red Lion (14-5) now moves on to the quarterfinal round, where they will travel to No. 2 seed Central Dauphin (12-3) at 7 Thursday night.
“We wanted to pressure,” Dimoff said. “And I feel like our pressure has gotten better lately.”
The Falcons would certainly agree with that. The visitors were pestered all night, even after Red Lion missed a shot and a Cedar Crest girl claimed the rebound.
For much of the night, the Falcons had more turnovers than points, which is hardly a recipe for success.
“We’ve been working on our press for a long time,” Red Lion senior Makiah Shaw said. “We just focused on keeping the ball in front of us.”
Shaw nearing 1,000: Shaw, who needed 35 points to reach 1,000 for her career, finished with 22. The team’s focus in the fourth period seemed to center around feeding their standout the ball as much as possible.
Many fans were wondering why Shaw was still on the court when the Lions lead grew to more than 20 points. For Dimoff, keeping Shaw on the court wasn’t a tactic he would normally employ. But in a shortened season, because of the coronavirus, the veteran coach tried to do what he could to make sure his senior has every chance to get to that coveted milestone.
“I hate, hate doing that,” Dimoff said. “But if we played a normal 22-game schedule she would get there easily. so I’m trying to help her as much as I can.”
Shaw will need 13 points Thursday to get there, but the senior would gladly trade the milestone for a team win over a Central Dauphin side that pummeled the Lions, 62-27, back in mid-January.
“I really have no idea,” Shaw said of the number of points she needed Tuesday to get to 1,000. “I was just trying to keep my focus on the game. I know that (last year) we played them tight (in the District 3 6-A semifinals), but when we played them this year it was not that good of a game.”
A 35-point loss is something that hardly ever happens to the Lions under Dimoff, but the circumstances were not exactly normal when they met. Red Lion was actually slated to play Cedar Crest back on Jan. 16 but that game was canceled because of a COVID-19 issue with the Falcons. Dimoff was able to scramble the day before to slot the Rams in on short notice.
“They’re one of the better teams in the state,” Dimoff said. “They’re very good, but I hope that we’ve improved. The have a very, very good shooter and their post player is tremendous, so we have to figure out a way to somewhat neutralize them and we have to score some points.”
OTHER GIRLS' BASKETBALL
Gov. Mifflin 49, Dallastown 28: At Gov, Mifflin, the Wildcats' season ended with a District 3 Class 6-A first-round loss. No. 12 seed Dallastown finished at 9-9. Fifth-seeded Gov. Mifflin improved to 16-5. Bria Beverly led Dallastown with 12 points. Stella Mollica had 19 points for Gov. Mifflin.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.