Northeast's inability to run a coherent offense when the game was on the line allowed visiting Broadneck to regroup and win last night's non-league Anne Arundel County game, 74-62.
No. 17 Northeast (10-5) had erased a 17-point lead by 10th-ranked Broadneck (12-4) to go up, 54-52, with 6 minutes, 27 seconds to play.
Then the Eagles missed nine straight shots and 15 of their last 17. Broadneck capitalized with a 12-0 run for a 64-54 lead with just over three minutes left and made 12 of 16 free throws down the stretch.
"We were up 54-52. All of a sudden, it was time to run an offense, and that [the inability] has been our downfall all year," said Eagles coach John Barbour. "It was 54-54. Then, all of a sudden, it was 74-59.
"Our kids don't know the importance of being patient in crunch time. When you throw up a shot in three seconds, you don't make the other team play 'D.' We have an excellent team, but until we learn to run an offense, we'll have trouble with any team," Barbour said.
Broadneck's Ken Kazmarek, who was assessed two technicals in a frenetic third quarter, was happy. "To tell you the truth, it was very difficult for us to play at Northeast after what happened Tuesday night [a 75-39 loss to Annapolis]," Kazmarek said.
"There's no way players can't be affected by that. So, I was pleased that we made several runs at them," Kazmarek said. "I feel good that we were able to come back and beat a quality team on their court."
It seemed that the Bruins would win in a walk. They led, 35-18, midway through the second quarter and 39-29 at halftime, as John Williams and Matt Weimer each had 10 points.
But Northeast's Gene Pleyo and Steve Strauss -- who scored a game-high 25 despite a painfully sprained ankle -- put the Eagles back into contention at the outset of the third quarter.
Three-pointers by Pleyo and Strauss, coupled with Zack Herold's steal and driving layup, pulled the Eagles within 43-41 halfway through the quarter. Pleyo then got inside 7-foot-2 Boris Beck for the follow shot that tied the score for the first time.
Northeast would lead twice, the last time at 54-52 on Strauss' steal and driving jumper with 7:22 left, before the Bruins' late surge.
Critical in the latter stages were Beck's eight rebounds (of 11 total), Williams' 8-for-8 from the foul line and the play of substitute forward Maurice Washington, who replaced the ailing Marlon Bailey and totaled eight points and seven rebounds.
Weimer finished with 20 points, Williams had 18 and Jeff Vincent 11. Pleyo backed Strauss with 16 points for the losers.