Northeast back on track after shooting past IND


Northeast girls basketball coach Calvin Vain said he expects to learn a lot about his team in the next few weeks.

"We're entering the main part of the season," he said before yesterday's game against Institute of Notre Dame. "We'll see how good we are."

He found out that his Eagles are good enough outside shooters to compensate for their lack of height. And that enabled them to break a two-game losing streak.

Northeast made four three-point shots in the last 3:15, including two by Jen Johansen, to defeat IND, 69-59, in Pasadena.

Johansen, a 5-foot-5 junior guard, led all scorers with 24 points, almost 10 above her season's average. She also grabbed 12 rebounds.

Junior Marcia Gaskins added 18 points for the Eagles (3-2). Sophomore Robin Johnson and junior Shannon Skopp each had 16 points for IND (3-5).

Northeast met little resistance in its first two games against Notre Dame Prep and Lutheran, and Vain said, "We didn't get a chance to push ourselves."

But the Eagles then lost by three points to Northern and were blown out by Good Counsel.

Where do they stand now?

"This game was a good measuring stick for us," Vain said. "It RTC showed that our strengths are the three-point shot, balanced scoring and hard defense. And our weakness showed up, too -- lack of size underneath."

The Eagles were fortunate to be ahead by one at the half after going 7-for-38 from the field. But IND wasn't much better, making just eight of 33 shots.

"None of our shots were going in," Johansen said, "but Mr. Vain said to keep shooting."

The lead changed hands six times in the second half, and Northeast had to overcome a five-point deficit in the last 4:11 after two free throws by Skopp. Johansen hit the first three-pointer, and a follow by Amy Van Fossen tied the score, 50-50.

Later in the quarter, a three-pointer by Jamie Pleyo evened the score, 53-53, and the Eagles went ahead for good on a Gaskin basket off a pass from Johansen.

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