WARREN - Trailing 21-12 in the second quarter Wednesday night against Euclid, it would have been easy for Warren G. Harding to pack it in and look ahead to tournament play.
Senior Anita Brown wouldn't let that happen, leading the way on an 18-0 run that turned the game completely around as the Raiders rolled to a 63-51 victory over their Lake Erie League foe.
"Give them credit, they put some pressure on us," Harding coach P.J. Notar said. "They even triple-teamed Brown at one time. We stayed within our own. We got down by (nine), but we kept pressuring it and things came our way. Once we got the lead, we never gave it up."
Anita Brown talks about her 29-point night, successful season.
Euclid coach Lynn Phillips said her team's mistakes were its undoing.
"We got ourselves in foul trouble," she said. "All my starters except for one had two, so we had to rotate them out to save them for the second half. That put a little glitch into it. We just made some careless turnovers. We had 12 turnovers going into halftime. Just not executing the press-breaker right and not taking care of the ball."
Brown had 12 of Harding's 18 points during the spurt. The area's leading scorer at more than 26 points per game finished with 31 and 16 rebounds to lead all players.
"It was a good game for the team," she said. "I think we're having an OK season. We lost some games we could've won, but overall it's fun and that's what matters at the end of the day."
Brown scored to pull Harding (12-7, 6-4) within 21-19, then Audreyanna Baldridge tied the game at 21-21 with 3:32 left in the first half. Brown added two more baskets to close out the half then scored again to begin the third quarter and give the Raiders a 30-21 advantage.
"She'll be the first person in school history to have 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds for her career," Notar said of his senior. "Special ballplayer. Can't say enough about her. She kept us in the game, she helped us take the lead and everybody else pitched in."
Phillips said Euclid tried to contain Brown but it was a futile effort.
"We went into a box and one, we had one-on-one coverage but we just weren't getting people to step out," Phillips said. "She gets too far in and she's going to score."
Harding extended its lead later in the period. Brown hit a basket to give her team its first double-digit advantage of the game at 38-28 with 2:08 in the third.
Caroline Stewart did her best to keep Euclid (7-12, 4-6) in the game in the fourth quarter. She came off the bench and scored 18 of the Panthers' 20 points in the period.
Despite her scoring binge, Euclid was unable to get closer than 12 points.
"She's been playing a lot of JV," Phillips said of Stewart. "We've brought her up lately. She's a shooter so we're looking to get her some time now because our first tournament game is two games away."
Baldridge had 11 points for Harding and Rai'Ale Chatmon scored 10. Ellie Morek had 12 for Euclid.
Harding closes out its regular season Saturday at home against Cleveland Heights, then begins tournament play in the Akron Ellet sectional on Thursday, Feb. 23 against either Howland or Kent Roosevelt.
Despite his team's record, Notar said the Raiders have plenty to work on as the postseason looms.
"We need to work on a lot of things," he said. "We need to work on our free throws. We also need to work on our attack, being more disciplined. Being more patient in our offense."