York, PA -
Alayah Hall passed the ball to avoid a trap and waited for another pass to swing back in her direction. Like they did most of the night, her Dover teammates found her again. And off Hall went, driving to the hoop.
Knocked to the ground.
Hall kept working, and what had already been an eventful week in Dover -- with a win against YAIAA Division I's Dallastown on Wednesday -- turned into something quite special as Dover pulled out another victory against a Division I foe. Dover didn't relinquish the lead for the final three quarters, knocking off West York, 44-31.
Hall scored a game-high 19 points.
The Dover girls remain the only undefeated team in the league -- in boys' or girls' basketball -- running their overall mark to 15-0 and 9-0 in Division II.
West York called on Kari Lankford to guard Hall for long stretches of the game, but Hall came on to score 11 points in the second half -- including eight in the fourth quarter. (Lankford fouled out with 26.4 seconds to play.)
"We practice really hard, there's no taking off just because we have some tough games coming up," Hall said.
Dover's currently in a stretch where it plays Division I opponents Dallastown, West York and Red Lion (Monday) in succession.
"When the schedule maker put this stretch together, they made it tough," Dover coach Troy Lokhaiser said. "But after talking to my fellow coaches, they've reminded me Division I is like this every week. We knew it was going to be a tough week, but so far it's been a good week."
West York has hit a rough stretch this month.
It's only two losses have come during the last two weeks. Not only did almost the entire team suffer from flu-like symptoms, but top scorer -- Sarah Shearer -- has missed time with an ankle injury.
Saddled with two fouls in the opening 2:43 of the game, Shearer didn't play much in the first half. Then she suffered an injury to her right leg in the fourth quarter. Training staff appeared to examine her knee as she lay on the floor, but she was able to walk off the court.
Returning to play, she attempted to move along the baseline on offense and her leg appeared to buckle just 15 seconds after returning to the court. She squatted down and was unable to continue with 3:30 to play.
"We'll find out when she sees our trainer," said West York coach Jon Shultz, who couldn't comment on what injury Shearer suffered or its severity.
West York's top scorer, Shearer (13.5 ppg) still managed to score a team-high 12 points. Lankford scored 11 points.
"Look (Dover) took us out of our game," Shultz said. "They played very good defense. As the year goes on, especially the last four games, our guards haven't been real strong. The forwards have been busting their butts inside, and I think our guards need to step up and meet the challenge.
"I absolutely challenged the whole team. We have to get back to what I call 'Bulldog Basketball.' Pushing the ball up the floor, I don't think we scored once out of our break tonight. That's disappointing for us, but kudos to a very good defensive team tonight. They took us out of what we wanted to run."
Both teams struggled to score in the first half -- the two teams combined for just 25 first-half points. But when it came time to match West York on the scoring sheet, Dover outplayed West York in the fourth quarter -- outscoring the Bulldogs 16-8.
West York trailed by five entering the fourth quarter, but that's as close as the Bulldogs came to knotting the score. Hall, Maxine Herman (seven points) and Kara Funk (five points) hit shots -- and the Eagles converted 10 of 14 free throws in the fourth.
"I thought our girls played with poise in the fourth quarter," Lokhaiser said. "We had talked to them repeatedly about West York comebacks. ... We told the girls: 'Play all the way to the end tonight, you can't relax in the fourth quarter.' And that's just because West York has put together so many good fourth quarters."
WEST YORK (31)
Wood 0 0-0 0, Johnson 1 0-0 2, Sarah Shearer 4 4-4 12, Slagle 0 0-0 0, Kari Lankford 3 5-5 11, Noll 2 0-4 4, Zinn 0 1-2 1, Krepps0 1-2 1. Totals 10 11-17 31.
Fox1 0-0 3, Funk 2 1-2 5, Fowler 0 0-0 0, Lokhaiser 2 3-4 8, Alayah Hall 5 9-10 19, McMahon 0 2-2 2, Crossan 0 0-0 0, Herman 3 1-6 7. Totals 13 15-24 44.
West York 6 5 12 8 -- 31
Dover 9 5 14 16 -- 44
3-point goals -- Dover 3 (Fox, Herman, Lokhaiser).
JV score -- West York, 40-14.