Calvin Vain has seen his Northeast girls basketball team handle the weaker competition this season, something it struggled to do in the past.
"In other years, we'd let them stay with us," he said.
Yesterday's game didn't provide a weaker opponent, but it did give Vain one of his biggest wins in his five years at Northeast.
Senior center Debbi Dadds hit a 16-foot fall-away jumper with five seconds left to cap a furious comeback and give the host Eagles a 44-43 upset victory over Broadneck in a Bay Division game.
Northeast scored the final eight points in a three-minute span, including the last four from Dadds, to wipe out a 43-38 deficit.
The Eagles had trailed, 40-27, after three quarters.
"We never thought we were out of this game," said freshman guard Jen Johansen, who scored a career-high22 points, including five three-pointers, and pulled down eight rebounds.
"The key was staying together as a team."
And having Dadds hit a shot Vain thought was well out of her range.
"I like that she won the game, but I told her I don't want to see that too many times at the end," Vain said, laughing.
Vain had hoped to get Dadds the ball down low, where she either could shoot or pass back out.
"I just got the ball, put it up and hoped it would go in," Dadds said.
Northeast missed its first 15 shots and went 5-of-31 from the floor in the opening half.
Still, the Eagles only trailed, 23-16, athalftime after closing to four points with 45 seconds left.
Northeast made its first-half run primarily without Dadds, who
picked up three early fouls and only had one point and three rebounds at intermission. She entered the game averaging just over 15 points and 17 boards.
"They were fronting and backing her, and she was down low getting trapped," Vain said. "At halftime, when I realized she didn't have a basket, I moved her totally to the high post; let her come high and stay high and get her more active in the game."
Dadds finished with seven points and 12 rebounds.
Senior teammate Jenelle Williams also had seven points and grabbed nine rebounds, the last comingafter Broadneck's Michelle Meyer missed a leaning jumper from just inside the three-point arc with one second left.
"They're very scrappy and very aggressive, and in the last quarter it looked like they intimidated us," said Broadneck coach Bruce Springer, whose team is 7-2 overall, 3-1 in the division. Northeast is 6-4 and 3-2.
"We didn't have anyone step up who wanted to assume the leadership," he said.
"They just wanted it a little more than we did. I think we got alittle too passive."
Broadneck scored 12 of the first 16 points in the third quarter to take its biggest lead, 35-20.
But Johansen buried two straight three-pointers before leaving the game with a bloody nose after being elbowed while going for a loose ball.
She returned early in the fourth quarter and scored five consecutive points to reduce Broadneck's lead to 42-36 with 3 minutes, 50 seconds left.
After a free throw from the Bruins' Ava Tasker, Williams scored from the top of the key, and a Stacy Reynolds steal and layup had Northeast behind, 43-40, with 1:45 remaining.
Two Dadds free throws, the latter with 36 seconds left, brought Northeast within a point, 43-42. Meyer was fouled with 24 seconds to play, missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Williams grabbed the rebound, setting up Dadds' heroic shot.
The loss overshadowed a fine game from Broadneck seniorforward Sarah Bannat, who had 16 points and 16 rebounds before fouling out with 4:29 left and Broadneck ahead, 42-31.
Senior center Jen Chapman also fouled out, with 36 seconds remaining, after scoring seven points.
Broadneck senior forward Kennita Kirby-Jones contributed seven points and six rebounds off the bench.
Meyer had four points, six rebounds and two blocks, and Tasker added five points and six rebounds.