LEWISTON — As Lewiston broke from its timeout in the closing seconds Friday night, Emily Paione had no expectations of a final shot.
The Lewiston senior knew the play was to go through somebody else, but those plans changed in a hurry.
It then became a shot conceived out of desperation and one that Paione never saw. Her offering was off-balance to begin with and she started falling over as soon as it left her hands. By the time she hit the floor, her shot at the buzzer was rattling around in the net.
"I didn't see any of it," said Paione. "I fell. She ran into me. I knew when they all piled onto me."
Her last-second shot lifted the Blue Devils to a thrilling 46-45 win over Brunswick. It was the second win of the season for Lewiston (2-4).
"It means a lot," said Paione. "Last year, we didn't win a lot and this year, we're really working hard with a new coaching staff. So it's really a big for us to win."
Brunswick had nearly earned its first win of the season. Julia Champagne had put the Dragons up with 1:07 left with a steal and basket. She added a free throw with 27 seconds left for a 45-43 lead.
Then after Lewiston called time to draw up a play with 16 seconds left, Brunswick's Lyse Henshaw stole the ball. Before the Dragons could secure the win, Lewiston's Kelsey Dumond stole it back with six seconds left.
"Nothing would have happened if she didn't get that steal," said Lewiston coach Mike Labonte. "That was a huge steal."
Running out of time, the Blue Devils quickly transitioned the ball back up court. When it reached Paione on the left side, just in front of the Lewiston bench, she had no choice but to put it on net.
"I was freaking out," said Paione. "I just chucked it up because there was only a couple seconds left and it just went in."
Paione finished with six points. Emily Brochu and Jenessa Talarico each had 10 points while Kristina Blais added seven. Brunswick (0-7) got 14 from Henshaw, seven coming in the final quarter. Champagne added 13 while Gillian Doehring had 10.
"It was awesome to see the girls play right to the end," said Labonte. "Both teams battled hard. Give Brunswick credit, they battled hard to the end. Maybe they should have won the game, it was right there."
Lewiston had been up by as many as nine in the first half, but the Dragons used a strong third quarter to get back within one. An 11-5 run erased a 21-14 halftime lead and made it 26-25 midway through the third. Brunswick even tied it on a Champagne leaner late in the quarter, but a steal by Paione and a drive by Brochu put Lewiston up 35-31 entering the fourth.
Lewiston was up by six early but a basket by Anna Dimick and a 3 by Henshaw quickly erased that. The Dragons forced five Lewiston turnovers while the Blue Devils hit just one of its first nine shots in the quarter.
"They started running their press-breaker very well," said Labonte. "They got some easy baskets out of it. That stopped us from pressing and got them back in the game."
A Henshaw free throw made it 40-39. Then she hit a 3 with 2:50 left for a 42-40 lead for the Dragons. Lewiston answered with a 3 from the corner by Blais with 2:00 left. Then came Champagne's steal and her free throw to put the Dragons up by two.
"I think we kind of dropped our heads a little bit but then we picked each other up and get back into it," said Paione.
After finishing 2-16 last year, the Blue Devils have already matched their win total in the first month of the season.
"After a few years of things being pretty dry here, especially for the seniors, it's nice to experience a little success," said Labonte.