Red Lion girls' basketball coach Don Dimoff uttered the phrase "survive and advance" several times after the Lions' 45-42 overtime victory against Lebanon in a District 3 Class AAAA first-round game at Red Lion High School Tuesday.
"We are young, but we have to stop saying we are young," said Dimoff, who started three sophomores, a junior and a senior. "We have to grow up now. Fight through our mistakes, fight through our wrongs and we did. This time of year is all about survive and advance."
With the win, Red Lion will meet second-seeded Cumberland Valley in Friday's quarterfinals. The game is set for 7:30 p.m. at Carlisle High School. Cumberland Valley eliminated New Oxford, 60-29, Tuesday.
Red Lion (16-7) came in as the No. 7 seed, but it also came in with three consecutive losses.
Lebanon (17-7) was seeded 10th but had won six straight games before a one-point loss to Cocalico to end the regular season. The Cedars, started two freshmen, a sophomore and two seniors Tuesday, were the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 2 champions.
The Cedars took a 34-31 lead into the fourth quarter, but Red Lion's Courtney Dimoff's 3-pointer with 4:40 to play gave the Lions the lead back. Red Lion held the lead until Lebanon freshman Alexis Hill sank a free throw with 17.9 seconds left to tie the game.
Red Lion sophomore guard Amy Maciejewski got a jump shot off from the left side with under three seconds left, but it missed and the game went to a four-minute overtime period.
In overtime, Maciejewski scored on a layup with 2:35 remaining to break the tie and the Lions never trailed again.
Down 43-42 with just over 10 seconds left, Lebanon senior guard Brittany Ulrich drove to the edge of the free-throw line and threw up a one-hander that missed its mark and Red Lion rebounded. The 5-foot-6 Maciejewski added two free throws with 0.9 seconds left for the final margin of victory. She paced Red Lion with 13 points.
"At the end, we didn't get a couple of rebounds we wanted to and they hit a couple of big shots," Lebanon coach Ben Brewer said. "Our last shot attempt, Brittany has been good her whole career at creating, getting to the rim or getting to the foul line. Unfortunately, Red Lion did a good job of not letting her get close enough to the rim."
Lebanon struggled in the first half, making just 7-of-20 field goal attempts while committing 10 turnovers. Red Lion was 9-of-18 from the field in the first two quarters, yet it was just a two-point game. The Lions had leads of seven and nine points in the second quarter.
"I thought we had them put away a couple of times, but we kept shooting ourselves in the foot," Dimoff said. "That stuff comes back to bite you. I thought we didn't push it hard enough. We just couldn't score. Defensively, I thought we did a pretty good job."
Hill, a 5-9 forward for Lebanon, helped the Cedars to a 14-4 rebounding advantage in the opening half and a 29-17 edge for the game. She finished with a game-high 15 points, including 5-of-7 from the foul line. She showed her ball-handling ability at the end of the third quarter by driving three-quarters of the court and scoring on a layup with 0.6 seconds left.
"She is averaging 14 points and 14 rebounds a game," Brewer said of Hill. "She had a triple-double earlier this year, which I have not seen very often in girls' basketball. She is active. We are going to have a lot of fun with her on the court the next few years."
Red Lion 45, Lebanon 42 (OT)
Haitos 2 0-0 6, Hartman 3 0-0 7, Alexis Hill 5 5-7 15, Brittany Ulrich 4 2-6 10, Turner 2 0-0 4, Ortolaza 0 0-0 0, Shellehamer 0 0-0 0.
Totals — 16 7-13 42.
Red lion (45)
Eames 2 0-4 4, Shepherd 2 2-4 7, Natalie Reba 4 1-1 10, Amy Maciejewski 5 2-3 13, Courtney Dimoff 5 0-1 11, J. Shingler 0 0-0 0, P. Shingler 0 0-0 0.
Totals — 18 5-13 45.
3-point goals — L 3 (Haitos 2, Hartman), RL 4 (Shepherd, Reba, Maciejewski, Dimoff).