Perfect free throw shooting was the name of the game andndash; at least for three players andndash; for the Lady Bruins on Friday night as they defeated the Lady Trojans of Douglas, 55-48 in the final game of the regular season.
The team shot 75 percent from the free-throw line, and received huge help from the 100-percent shooting of Mallory McDonald, Iva Hart and Lakota Hatcher.
McDonald went 8-for-8, and Hart and Hatcher both hit 2-for-2 from the charity stripe.
Friday's game had far reaching consequences for both the Trojans and the Bruins; whichever team won would have a home court advantage for next week's round-of-32 play-in game and the losers would have to face Siuslaw on Tuesday to determine seeding for the play-in games.
"That's huge for us," Head Coach Chris Scofield said. "The first and second place teams in the Skyline League are top 10 teams in state. I'm not saying the third and fourth place teams aren't any good, but we're glad to have the first game at home."
The Bruins will face the third place team from the Skyline League which will be either the Phoenix Pirates of the Klamath Union Pelicans.
"It was all in our hands," Schofield added. "We had to decide if we were going to come out and play tonight, and we did.
"The difference between tonight and Tuesday is that we made shots tonight."
The Bruins began the game trailing the entire first quarter until a last-second bank shot by Brianna Juarez from way outside put the Lady Bruins up by two.
The second quarter saw the Bruins continue to apply pressure, as they widened the gap with a 15-8 run to lead 31-22 going into the half.
A malady set in during the Bruins half-time rest though and they came out cold in the third quarter to allow the Trojans back into the game.
"They (Trojans) came out and made shots," Schofield explained. "We gave up too much dribble penetration, and missed some good shots."
Schofield explained that he felt the team was playing well offensively, but just couldn't get the shots to fall and were slacking a little on defense.
"We didn't move our feet defensively in the third," he said.
The Lady Bruins found some rhythm in the fourth quarter though and outscored the Lady Trojans 18-9 to win the game 55-48.
"The shots that didn't drop in the third fell in the fourth," Schofield explained. "The girls had an uphill climb to change the momentum, but they did it."
The Lady Bruins were led by Brianna Juarez, 20 points, and McDonald, 18, but Schofield was effusive in his praise for Jordyn Keys, 7.
"Jordyn probably played her best game of the season tonight," he said. "She was really aggressive on offense and made some great passes for assists and played really well."
Other Bruins contributing to the final score were Whitney Floyd, 2 points, Lakota Hatcher, 4, Iva Hart, 2, and Courtney Kay, 2.
The Bruins will host a Skyline League team on Friday night with the game time yet to be determined.
Thanks to KB and the crew at KURY for the game coverage.