The Dallastown girls' basketball team couldn't hold back as a group celebration spilled out in front of its bench. It was the type of jubilation typically reserved for title games, not the fifth game of the year.

But this was every bit deserving.

It had been eight years since the Wildcats beat Red Lion and 48 games since anyone has in conference. And tonight was finally the night all that changed in a 45-36 upset, in Red Lion's own gym, no less.

"It's such a relief," senior Shae Grim said. "Everyone contributed. Everyone did the little things to make this work."

If Dallastown was the underdog, it never felt that way Tuesday. The Wildcats were the aggressors -- on the floor for every loose ball and playing that Dallastown defense that they are becoming known for.

Red Lion just couldn't get near the basket, and couldn't get clear looks from the perimeter, either. It all added up to a dreadful night of 13-for-49 shooting.

"It's tough because of the way they play defense. They sag in very hard and make it tough to get inside," Red Lion coach Don Dimoff said. "We've got to do a better job of executing and getting inside out and doing some things there so we have some easier shots outside. I thought we played too perimeter-oriented tonight."

And to make matters worse, Dallastown dominated rebounding, too, both offensively and defensively. During one possession in the second quarter, the Wildcats grabbed four offensive rebounds.


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"I think the girls were very motivated and had their eyes on this for a long time and you could see it in their eyes on every possession," Dallastown coach Mary Manlove said. "They've wanted this and have been on the end of a lot of 30-point blowouts in the last couple years and it hurts. They were motivated to finally have their shot."

After trading baskets through the first two quarters, The Wildcats started the second half with a two-point lead and never looked back with a 12-0 run in the third quarter.

Grim found ways to get to the basket and 6-foot sophomore forward Amari Johnson was hitting 15-foot baseline jumpers. Everything seemed to be working.

"I think a lot of it was adrenaline, to be honest," Grim said of the third quarter run. "We were up. We haven't been up against them in a long time. Usually we are down. I just felt like we were in high spirits and ready to go."

Red Lion did push back in the fourth quarter, utilizing a full-court press to fluster Dallastown. With a 10-point cushion though, there wasn't enough time, and enough shots falling, to make a comeback happen.

"Fourth quarter was a little shaky, but that is the difference from this year's team and last year's team," Grim said. "Last year we probably would have crumbled. This year we did the little things and calmed ourselves down."

It's a night the Wildcats don't want to forget.

And a night Red Lion won't be able to, or at least allowed to.

As the Wildcats celebrated on the court, Red Lion coach Don Dimoff made his girls watch every minute of the celebration.

"I wanted our team to notice that they beat us in a regular season game and it was like they won the national championship and I wanted our girls to see that to understand what it means to play Red Lion girls basketball," Dimoff said. "That is the expectation that is on them because when people beat us it's a big deal. And they need to practice and prepare to understand that everyone wants to knock us off."

 
RED LION (36)
   Kuehne 2 3-4 7, Seitz 3 2-2 8, Jenny Horvatinovic 4 0-2 10, Horka 2 0-0 4, Dimoff 2 0-0 6. Totals 13 6-10 36. DALLASTOWN (45)
   Jackson 2 1-2 7, Lehman 2 3-6 8, Thomas 0 1-2 1, Grim 5 2-5 12, McGowan 4 1-2 9, Johnson 3 2-2 8. Totals 16 10-18 45.
Dallastown   8    11  12  14 -- 45
Red Lion     8    9    4    14 -- 36
   3-point goals -- Dallastown 3 (Jackson 2, Lehman); Red Lion 4 (Horvatinovic 2, Dimoff 2).    JV score -- Red Lion 36, Dallastown 28.