When the game is on the line, it helps to get there more often than the other guys.
Kamiakin did just that Friday night, hitting 21 of 30 free throws in a 52-42 win over University in a girls 3A subregional basketball game at U-Hi.
The Braves got plenty of second-chance shots, and cashed them in on the glass or at the free-throw line to earn a spot in next week’s regionals.
“It’s hard to beat a team that goes to the foul line that often – maybe tomorrow we’ll get to the foul line more,” U-Hi coach Mark Stinson said of his own team’s second chance: a winner-to-regional, loser-out game tonight at home against Shadle Park, which lost to Sunnyside 87-73 Friday.
The Titans (8-14) couldn’t have asked for a better start against Kamiakin, which faces Sunnyside tonight for the top seed at regionals. The Braves (16-6) missed their first nine shots and trailed 14-4 at the end of the first quarter, but rallied in the second period behind an aggressive pressure defense.
Still, McKenzie Peterson’s 3-pointer gave the Titans a 17-15 halftime lead.
“We were winning at halftime even when the shots weren’t going in,” Stinson said.
Kamiakin seized the momentum early in the second half, taking 33-20 lead before U-Hi got back in the game with a trio of 3-point shots late in the third quarter.
“We just need to have that kind of mentality and play hard every second,” Stinson said. “It’s the playoffs – you never know what’s going to happen.”
Kylie Collins led the Titans with 10 points, including a rebound and layup that closed the gap to 36-34 in the fourth quarter, but Kamiakin sank nine free throws in the final quarter to pull away.
Sunnyside 84, Shadle Park 73: Shalise Hicks scored 14 of her 25 points in the fourth quarter to help the Highlanders cut a 20-point deficit to six, but fell short against the host Grizzlies. Winter Hayes added 18 points and Amanda Konynenbelt 10 for SP (8-14).