It didn't look like anything special when Kennard-Dale scored the game's first basket.
But Kennard-Dale scored again.
Dover started the game with three straight turnovers. Timeouts and pleas from coaches didn't help. Dover's unbeaten streak looked in doubt. Minutes clicked off the clock -- and Dover still hadn't scored a point. Finally, Alayah Hall hit a mid-range jumper with 1:26 to play in the first quarter.
And with a little swish of the net, Dover seemed all right. The unbeaten team looked perfect again, rallying for a 39-33 victory against Kennard-Dale in the quarterfinal round of the league tournament. Dover advances to play Dallastown at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Central York.
"We looked nervous at the start, but Kennard-Dale kept that pressure on us -- all game really," Dover coach Troy Lokhaiser said. "We just couldn't get that first basket to go. Once we did, I thought it would be OK."
Down 9-0 at the start of the game, Dover (23-0) forced Kennard-Dale (14-9) to commit seven second-quarter turnovers. The Eagles used an 11-0 run in the second period to erase Kennard-Dale's advantage, outscoring the Rams 13-2 in that stretch.
"I think we just weren't used to playoff atmosphere," Hall said. "We didn't come out as sharp as we should have, but we got used to it."
The game featured two of the league's best players. Kennard-Dale had Division-I bound Sara Tarbert playing the post. She scored a game-high 18 points, pulled down 18 boards and blocked five shots.
Her 18 boards pushed her over the 1,000-rebound mark for her career, notching 1,003 rebounds to go with her 1,000-plus career points.
"She's a heck of a player," Dover's Lokhaiser said. "We, at times, had two and three people on her, and she still scored. But credit her teammates, because they made a lot of nice passes to her tonight."
Dover, however, had Hall. Just a junior, she managed 16 points (above her season-average of 14.8 points). She looked the part of the go-to scorer in the pivotal second quarter, scoring seven points.
Still Kennard-Dale wouldn't go away, cutting a nine-point third-quarter deficit to a one point with 7:24 to play. In the final quarter, though, Dover's defense kept the Eagles undefeated season intact. The Eagles' defense forced eight fourth-quarter turnovers.
Dover advances to the league semifinals, while Kennard-Dale looks ahead to next week's play-in game for the Class AAA District 3 tournament. Playing almost even with an undefeated team could be something the team builds on.
"We've been talking about intensity and this is probably the biggest crowd of the year that we've played in front of, so that probably geared them up, too," Kennard-Dale coach Jeff Stratmeyer said.
Black 2 1-3 5, Davis 0 2-2 2, Anderson 0 0-2 0, Sara Tarbert 8 2-3 18, Trott 3 1-2 8, Driggers 0-2 0, M. Duty 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 8-14 33.
Fox 0 0-0 0, Funk 2 4-10 8, Fowler 0 0-0 0, Lokhaiser 3 0-0 8, Alayah Hall 5 6-7 16, McMahon 2 1-2 5, Herman 1 0-0 2. Totals13 11-19 39.
Kennard-Dale 11 2 11 9 -- 33
Dover 5 13 10 11 -- 39
3-point goals -- Kennard-Dale 1 (Trott); Dover 2 (Lokhaiser 2).