Within a few minutes, a depressed Dover girls bench turned raucous. All it took were a few turnovers and trips to the free-throw line.

The Eagles trailed by 17 early in the third quarter Friday against Hershey at the Northern York Lady Bears Tip-off Tournament. By the final 2 minutes of the fourth, that deficit had disappeared. The Eagles had rallied and could celebrate a 51-46 comeback win.


The players were mostly calm afterward. Alayah Hall, her team's leading scorer with 15 points, did not let on that there was much doubt a comeback could be achieved.

"We talked about it in the locker room," she said. "We hoped we could come back."

Problem was, that deficit was only 10 at that point. Hershey scored the first seven points of the third quarter to take a 31-14 lead, forcing Eagles coach Troy Lokhaiser to take a timeout with 5 minutes still to go and little hope in sight.

"We had played bad," Lokhaiser said. "I told them during a few timeouts we couldn't play much worse than we were playing. We had nowhere to go but up."

Afterward, the coach was spent. The frustration of an 0-of-8 shooting performance to start the game and 16 first-half turnovers took their toll. However, it was with that timeout that Dover began to chip away at the gigantic lead. Not until Megan Lokhaiser's 3-pointer with 8 seconds left in the third did Dover cut the Trojans' lead to single digits.

Dover trailed throughout until Hall's free throws with 1:40 left gave her team a 46-44 lead. Hall scored eight of her points in the fourth quarter -- all from the free-throw line.

"We were in foul trouble early and seemed like it swung a little bit," said Troy Lokhaiser, referring to the foul differential between the halves. "That certainly helped us, no doubt about it."

So did the turnovers. Dover's pesky guards helped force 11 Hershey turnovers in the fourth quarter alone. Mostly from steals near midcourt, and sometimes in the backcourt, they allowed Hall to get to the free-throw line in transition. By the time Hall gave her team the lead, Kara Funk followed. Her steal and score on a foul added to the lead.

"I thought we did an amazing job at the end," Megan Lokhaiser said. "Our defense, that's our game right there."

She drew the defensive assignment of Hershey's Libby Nolan for the most of the night. Nolan, who had game highs of 23 points and 16 rebounds, scored her last couple of baskets during the few times Hershey broke Dover's pressing defense.

Troy Lokhaiser stressed that the comeback -- which advanced Dover to today's championship game against Bermudian Springs -- was just one win. He did admit it was "a good win."

"I do believe we can do that," Megan Lokhaiser said. "We're a pretty good team. We've done it before and we can come back and win games."

* * *

Bermudian Springs 31, Northern York 25: With half of their varsity roster suffering from illness and injuries, the Eagles pulled away in the fourth quarter of a close game to advance to today's championship game at Northern York.

Sophomore Shannon Kuhn spurred Bermudian's rally with 12 points.

"It started off a little slow, but it got better as the game went on," said Kuhn, the Eagles' lone returning starter from last season.

@mgoul; 771-2076

   Mackenzie Farley 0 1-3 1, Karra Thomason 2 0-0 4, Taylor Mayers 1 1-1 3, Abby Hoffman 0 2-2 2, Madyson Whitcomb 0 4-8 4, Shannon Kuhn 2 7-8 12, Rachael Erdman 2 1-2 5. Totals 7 16-24 31.
   Maggie Frey 0 0-1 0, Darby Anderson 1 0-1 2, Steph Clark 2 3-4 7, Mary Walsh 0 0-2 0, Alyssa Swartz 3 0-0 6, Sara Yunez 4 6-6 10. Totals 10 9-14 25.
Bermudian    7    5    5  14 -- 31
Northern    9    5    4    7-- 25

   3-point goals -- Bermudian 1 (Kuhn); Northern 0.

DOVER (51)
   Kara Funk 2 5-9 9, Alayah Hall 3 9-14 15, Maxine Herman 1 0-0 2, Marissa McMahon 4 3-4 11, Megan Lokhaiser 4 1-2 10, Lindsey Fowler 1 0-0 2, Holly Fox 0 2-2 2. Totals 15 20-31 51.
   Emily Bruggemeier 1 5-6 7, Gabriela Blackburn 0 0-0 0, Victoria Blackburn 1 0-2 3, Dahlia Chroscinski 2 0-3 4, Libby Nolan 9 5-7 23, Shannon Mulvey 1 4-5 6, Taylor Grace 0 1-2 1, Samantha Kirk 1 0-2 2. Totals 15 15-27 46.
Dover    2  12  14  23 -- 51
Hershey  11  13  11  11-- 46

   3-point goals -- Dover 1 (Lokhaiser); Hershey 1 (V. Blackburn).