After watching his No. 6 Broadneck girls basketball team complete what he described as its worst half of the season, coach Bruce Springer gave the Bruins some simple advice.
"I told them at halftime that that was the worst half we played all year, so this is probably going to be the best half," said Springer, whose team trailed No. 14 Southern-AA by six points at halftime.
Springer's words did not go unheeded. The Bruins (8-2) picked up the tempo in the second half and went on to defeat the visiting Bulldogs (6-4) yesterday, 47-39.
Broadneck's poor first half included a 7-for-26 performance from the field and 12 turnovers. Worse yet for the Bruins was the second quarter that saw them get outscored 16-4, including an 11-point run by Southern to end the period.
"It reminded me of when we played Northeast the other night, we lost our intensity and stopped attacking the basket," said Springer, who would probably like to forget Monday's 44-43 loss to the Class 2A Eagles. "We weren't playing defense, and a lot of things we do offensively, we key off our defense to get us going."
In spite of themselves, the Bruins led after the first quarter, 12-6. Southern hit three of 20 shots from the field in the opening quarter, which contained a three-minute scoring drought by both teams.
Two field goals and a free throw from 6-foot sophomore center Laekeka Wesley brought Southern back to within 12-11.
A steal and uncontested layup by Ava Tasker and a follow shot by Jen Chapman increased the Bruins' lead to five with 4 minutes, 18 seconds remaining in the half. Broadneck would not score again in the period.
The Bruins, who were 12-for-17 from the free-throw line, hit six straight to start the second half and take a 23-22 lead. Broadneck continued to struggle from the field in the third quarter but found its range in the fourth, hitting seven of 13.
Wesley led all scorers with 15 points. Tasker finished with a team-high 13 for the winners, followed by Sarah Bannat with 10.
"I wouldn't say that we were totally outplayed this game. I just think they had a few more shots fall than we did," said Southern coach Linda Kilpatrick. "We were getting good shots, they just weren't falling. I wasn't displeased with any aspect of our game tonight."