CARLISLE >> It's hard to imagine a better start for Red Lion when it faced highly-ranked Cumberland Valley in Friday's second round of the District 3 Class AAAA girls' basketball tournament.
The seventh-seeded Lions buried three 3-pointers during three consecutive trips down the floor, and stunned the crowd at Carlisle High School by opening up an eight-point lead in the second quarter.
However, the Eagles recovered as a No. 2 seed can do, with a huge run to end the second quarter and open the third. And Cumberland Valley moved on courtesy of a 43-27 victory over Red Lion.
"I thought we played great defense the whole game. We held that team to the low 40s," Lions coach Don Dimoff said. "I can't fault our effort. We played hard and I hope we learned if we play that way, with that effort, we can play with anybody."
The Eagles (25-1) will face Central Dauphin East in the district semifinals Tuesday at Giant Center. The Lions (16-8) will have two shots at advancing to the PIAA tournament, the first against Red Land, scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at South Western.
CD East topped Red Land, 63-40, in the first game of the doubleheader at Carlisle.
Cumberland Valley's Kelly Jekot, a Villanova recruit, had a game-high 16 points, to go along with 12 rebounds, three blocks, two steals and an assist. She scored the first five points of the game.
However, someone forgot to tell Red Lion it wasn't supposed to stay with the Eagles. Courtney Dimoff hit a layup, then knocked down a 3-pointer. Kynslee Shepherd followed with a pair of treys, and suddenly the Lions were up 11-5 at the end of a quarter.
When LaDena Eames grabbed an offensive board and canned a jumper, Red Lion opened a 13-5 lead early in the second. But Cumberland Valley finished the quarter by scoring on its last five possessions, including a painful sequence to end the half.
Morgan Baughman (13 points) drained a 3-pointer, and following a Courtney Dimoff free throw, Jekot drove for another score. Baughman dropped two foul shots, and the next time down nailed another 3, giving the Eagles the lead for good, 15-14.
Three straight offensive rebounds resulted in Jekot free throws. Although she missed both, Meghan Rhoades grabbed a miss off the glass and hit Jekot, who hit a jumper with three seconds to go in the half.
"She's very good," coach Dimoff said of Jekot. "I thought we did a great job of boxing her up a little bit and making her take some tough shots. She's going to score, she's too good not to."
Eames' basket got the Lions within 19-16 in the early moments of the third, but Cumberland Valley answered with a Jekot 3, part of a 16-3 run that put the game out of reach.
"We stuck to a game plan and did it," Don Dimoff said. "You don't play against that type of length very often. They are long around the basket and we are not longest team in the world. They are fast, they are quick. That's a very, very good high school basketball team. Obviously, they are No. 1 in the state for a reason."
Cumberland Valley 43, Red Lion 27
RED LION (27)
Wolf 0 0-0 0, Eames 2 1-2 5, Kynslee Shepherd 2 2-2 8, Reba 1 0-3 2, Maciejewski 2 0-0 4, Courtney Dimoff 2 3-4 8, P. Shingler 0 0-0 0.
Totals — 9 6-9 27
CUMBERLAND VALLEY (43)
Halula 0 0-0 0, Falconer 1 3-5 4, , Torresin 0 0-0 0, Ka. Jekot 1 1-2 3, Kirkpatrick 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Sneidman 1 0-0 2, Joyce 0 0-0 0, Morgan Baughman 4 3-5 13, Kelly Jekot 6 2-5 16, Tonrey 0 0-0 0, Rhoades 1 2-2 4, Lehman 0 0-0 0.
Totals — 14 11-18 43.
Red Lion11358—27Cumb. Valley5121214—43
3-point goals — RL 3 (Shepherd 2, Dimoff), CV 4 (Ke. Jekot 2, Baughman 2).