Don Dimoff looks forward to a lot of things during a basketball season.

The first round of district play has never been one of them.

On Tuesday, Dimoff's Red Lion girls came in as the No. 2 seed in District 3 Class AAAA and faced No. 15 Central Dauphin East. Through the game's first 16 minutes the score was tied.

But, that was the first half.

In the second half, Red Lion posted more points in the third quarter than the Panthers did the entire half in a 68-45 win.

The victory moves the defending district champion Lions to the quarterfinal round on Friday night at Hershey High School. The Lions will play at 6 p.m. against No. 7 Daniel Boone, a 42-38 winner against No. 10 Muhlenberg.

"I hate this game more than any game of the year," Dimoff said. "It doesn't matter what seed you are or how you are supposed to win. It's just that little added pressure. It's one and done.

"We've got such a nice team, and I want to see them go as far as they can."

The changes from the first half to the second half were noteworthy. Red Lion (25-1) shot 29 percent in the first half, then 60 percent in the second half.

CD East (14-10) scored 29 first-half points and only 16 in the second half.

Red Lion outscored the Panthers, 17-3, in the third quarter.

"We looked like we were the 15th seed," Dimoff said of the first half. "We were rushing. We were very hurried. We just looked disconcerted.


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"In the second half, we were much more together as a team. We executed. It was five people working as one in the second half."

Erica Maciejewski led the Lions' offense, scoring 26 points, and was one of three Red Lion players in double figures. The senior scored seven points in the third quarter, which was four more than the Panthers collected as a team in the period.

"We just played more team defense. When we play defense together, that's the best defense you'll see out of us," Maciejewski said of the third quarter.

With the score tied at 29 at halftime, the Lions started off the third quarter with a jumper from Jen Horvatinovic (10 points) and never trailed from that point.

The Panthers got within four points at 36-32 before the Lions closed the quarter on a 10-0 run.

"We played with a lot more intensity (in the second half)," Dimoff said. "We just had to weather the storm because they shot so well (in the first half)."

CD East shot 56 percent from the floor in the first half and held a 16-14 lead after the first quarter. It led by as many as six in the second quarter.

Courtney Wanner and Brianna Simpson led the Panthers with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Kasie Seitz came off the bench and was the final Red Lion player in double figures with 10 points.
  
CENTRAL DAUPHIN EAST (45)
   Barcellona 2 0-0 5, S. Desso 0 0-0 0, H. Desso 0 1-2 1, Kahn 3 2-3 8, Courtney Wanner 4 3-6 11, D'agostino 1 5-6 8, Brianna Simpson 3 1-2 10, Lamelle 0 0-0 0, Medina 0 2-2 2. Totals 13 14-21 45.
RED LION (68)
   Truiett 1 0-0 2, Kasie Seitz 2 6-6 10, Dengler 0 0-0 0, Kuehne 2 0-0 4, Horka 0 1-2 1, Harlacker 2 4-4 9, Erica Maciejewski 10 5-7 26, Ka. Wolf 1 2-3 4, Harvey 0 0-0 0, Jen Horvatinovic 4 1-2 10, Ke. Wolf 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 19-24 68.
CD East  16  13    3  13 -- 45
Red Lion  14  15  17  22 -- 68

   3-point goals -- Central Dauphin East 5 (Barcellona, D'agostino, Simpson 3), Red Lion 3 (Harlacker, Maciejewski, Horvatinovic).