Containing Northeast's high-scoring tandem was the tall and short ofthe Arundel girls basketball team's 47-37 victory over the Eagles last night.
When the Wildcats beat Northeast, 57-46, back on Dec. 19, the Wildcats held the Eagles' scoring dynamos, center Debbi Dadds and guard Jen Johansen, to 15 and eight points, respectively.
Going into last night's Bay Division battle with the Wildcats, Dadds, a 6-foot senior center, topped county scorers, averaging 18 points. Johansen, a 5-2 freshman, was fourth at 14.9.
Holding the scoring dynamos down was the key to the Wildcats' third straight win.
The main credit goes to Arundel seniors Mary Pat Fannon (14 points) and 5-10 center Latoy Long (nine points, seven boards), as well as juniors Alina Smith and Tami Gosheff (six points each).
Arundel trailed, 35-34, with 6:12 left in the fourth period when Fannon, Smith andLong ignited a 13-2 run that essentially flattened the fatigued Eagles, who lost Dadds for the game to a twisted ankle early in the second period.
"We want to win a home-court advantage for the playoffs," said Long, whose squad entered the night with 68 playoff points, good for a fourth-place tie with North County in the Class 4A, Region IV standings.
Arundel, which edged North County, 45-40, in its previous game, "needed this game badly," Long said.
When the two teamslast met, Fannon, who averages 11 points, scored 21. But Coach Lee Rogers was glad to see a more balanced scoring and defensive effort this time out.
"Defense was the key for us. It's been the key for usall season," said Rogers, whose Wildcats snapped the Eagles' winningstreak at three.
"I think whenever we got down tonight, we didn'tworry too much about offense. Everyone concentrated on getting back and doing the job defensively."
Dadds was coming off of a 34-point, 29-rebound effort against South River in a 64-51 victory that also saw Johansen net 18.
But Dadds had scored just seven points against Arundel when she injured her right knee a minute into the second period.
The Wildcats then got consecutive buckets from Sarah Melby (four points) and a 20-footer from Smith to go up, 22-16.
But just when Northeast appeared to be on the ropes, Johansen went on a rampage. She continually drove the lane, scoring nine of the Eagles' 10 second-quarter points -- including two of her game-high four three-pointers -- and giving Northeast a 26-25 halftime lead.
Johansen was 3-for-5 from the line in the second period, sinking a free throw to tiethe game at 22 with 3:50 left in the half. Her three-pointer with two minutes remaining gave the Eagles a 26-23 advantage.
"I wasn't really nervous or anything," said Johansen, who scored 14 of her 21 points in the first half. She also has six rebounds and two steals.
The loss dropped the 12-7 Eagles to 6-4 in the Bay Division, and raised the 12-7 Wildcats' to 6-3.
"It was the first time we had to play without a major portion of our attack, and I think we handled it well," said Northeast coach Calvin Vain.
"If you look at the rebounding, it was spread around evenly."
Jen Vickery had a team-high 10 boards for Northeast, while 5-10 Jen Deisignore, replacing Dadds, grabbed six and Jenelle Williams snagged seven.