With a second-degree sprain of her right shoulder, Southern's LindeeSisk never thought she'd play in yesterday's basketball game at Northeast.
After noticing some improvement during warm-ups, the seniorforward figured she might be able to come off the bench and pass theball.
But four quarters, and 14 points, later, Sisk appeared to be a medical wonder.
"I iced it all last night and today and took some medication, and it started to feel all right," she said after the visiting Bulldogs had prevailed, 62-51, to remain tied with Broadneck for first place in the Bay Division. "I thought I could pass the ball, but I didn't think I'd be scoring at all."
She did more than score, grabbing nine rebounds and blocking two shots, as Southern improved to 10-5 overall, 5-1 in the division. The Eagles are 9-6 and 3-3.
"Lindee Sisk really gave us a lift when she came in," said Southern coach Linda Kilpatrick, whose team has won six of its last eight.
"In practice, she couldn't even lift her arm above her head. I sent herto sports medicine, and she said it felt OK, so I took the chance ofputting her in. And luckily, I did."
The last time Southern traveled to Northeast, Jan. 4 of last year, the Bulldogs rallied from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win in overtime, 45-43.
Yesterday's game only took the minimum 32 minutes to complete, but it featured another crucial Southern rally.
The Bulldogs trailed by as many as 13 points, 19-6, in the first quarter, and fell further behind, 23-8, a minute into the second quarter on consecutive baskets from freshman guard Jen Johansen (24 points).
Kilpatrick had to calla timeout early on to remind her players of the basics: boxing out, rebounding, going to the basket.
"I could not believe we came out that flat for such a big game," she said.
Northeast coach Calvin Vain called it, "probably our best solid quarter of play all year. Everything was going our way."
That soon changed.
Southern ran off15 unanswered points to tie the score, 23-23, with three minutes left in the half.
Stacy Reynolds hit from the outside and Debbi Dadds(12 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks) scored underneath for Northeast, but the Bulldogs closed the quarter with seven straight points on a Laketia Mullen layup, a Sisk free throw and two Lisa Biederman follows to take their biggest lead, 30-27.
Wesley led the Bulldogs with 17 points, while Mullen and senior Talaya Barnett added 10 each. Wesley, a sophomore, also grabbed 14 rebounds, nearly five above her average.
Though they drew within one point twice in the third quarter, and within two points twice in the fourth, the Eagles never reclaimed the lead.
"The second quarter showed our weakness," Vain said."We get a lead and can't increase it or sustain it. It's happened a lot."
Many of Southern's points in the second half came on follow shots, as the Bulldogs enjoyed a 46-36 advantage on the boards.
Their work became much easier when Dadds, who entered the game as the county's leading rebounder with 18.5 a game, fouled out with 4:13 left.
The Eagles also struggled against a Southern press that was ineffective in the early going because of poor execution.
"They absolutely played no press," Kilpatrick said of her players. "I asked them,'Do you want to play our press or not? Answer me right now, because it's hurting us.' All we were doing was giving them layups. But once they started playing it, we got several turnovers in a row."
The teams meet again in the final regular-season game, Feb. 28 at Southern.