At 6 feet, Broadneck sophomore Jackie Webber is a commanding presence on the basketball court. But for three quarters of the Bruins' 4A East Region quarterfinal at Thomas Stone on Tuesday, she somehow managed to fade into the background.
This was not a promising sign. Broadneck's season appeared on its last legs, and Webber's contribution to that point was one basket.
Before the fourth quarter, "I told her, being a sophomore, 'Just play,' " Broadneck Coach Diane Casey said. " 'Don't worry about the refs, don't worry about calls. You know what you're capable of doing. Go and do it.' "
Webber heeded her coach's advice, scoring 10 of her 13 points in the final quarter, and the Bruins erased a late eight-point deficit to defeat Thomas Stone, 69-62.
Although Webber finished off the Cougars, Katie McDermott kicked things off for the Bruins, scoring 11 of her team-high 20 points in the first quarter to help carry Broadneck into the semifinals tonight against No. 11 Arundel, which beat Meade, 70-43, in another quarterfinal Tuesday.
The Bruins (7-16) didn't necessarily have the athleticism to match Thomas Stone, but they knew the Cougars' tendencies after facing them in three of the past four postseasons. Broadneck also appeared postseason-ready from playing in the highly competitive Anne Arundel County.
After all, Broadneck upset Old Mill in the regular season finale, so it wasn't exactly a surprise that the Bruins didn't flinch when Thomas Stone opened a 49-41 lead at the end of the third quarter thanks in large part to guard Briana Glover (30 points).
But the Bruins stuck to their game plan, expertly breaking the press and opening the fourth quarter on an 11-0 run from which Thomas Stone never recovered.
"I never really thought we were going to lose," Webber said. "The more we got down, I just got more pumped, like we're going to win this."