Free throws pay off for Edgerton girls
After missing 20 free throws in its first game of the season and 14 in its next, Edgerton made 16 of 20 fourth-quarter attempts from the line Friday night to pull away from McFarland for a critical 66-54 win in Rock Valley North girls basketball.
Schmidt led the way, draining 10 of 14 free throws in the final quarter for a game-high 24 points as the Crimson Tide remained undefeated at 3-0 and went to 2-0 in the conference.
“It was really big to get McFarland on their home court,” Schmidt said of knocking off the defending conference champions, who nipped second-place Edgerton in late-season title showdown last year. “Our defense really came through.”
After trailing most of the game, McFarland (2-3, 1-1) took a 44-42 lead on Annie Culver’s three-pointer with 1:40 left in the third quarter. Schmidt then answered with a driving lay-up down the lane, and it was tied 46-46 head into the fourth quarter.
Jennifer Gimmer opened the fourth quarter with two free throws as Edgerton regained the lead. Culver made a jumper to keep the Spartans within 50-48, but the Crimson Tide closed out the game with a 16-6 run that included 14 free throws.
“We made our free throws, which we’ve been struggling with this year,” Edgerton coach Mike Schmidt said. “We also started getting some better looks.”
Gimmer added five of her 10 points in the fourth quarter, while Brooke Ferrell added 15 points off the bench, including four three-pointers.
After her team trailed 27-21 at halftime, Kaitlynn Everson brought McFarland back with 13 of her team-high 23 points, but was she held to five in the fourth quarter as Edgerton took control.
Shelby Kranz added 10 points for the Spartans.
“We just didn’t keep Everson out of the lane in the third quarter, and she got hot,” coach Schmidt added. “She is a streaky shooter, and when she gets on fire, she is tough. So we had to cool her down, and then I thought their legs got tired.”
Edgerton’s full-court press forced 15 Spartan turnovers, including six in the final quarter. The Crimson Tide also allowed only one basket down the stretch as McFarland missed 11 of its 12 fourth-quarter shots.
Meanwhile, Edgerton made two of its five fourth-quarter shots and finished 20 of 37 (54 percent) from the floor.
“This was a big win for us,” coach Schmidt added. “But there is a lot of season left.”
EDGERTON 66, McFARLAND 54
Edgerton (66)—Oren, 3-0-6; Ferrell, 4-4-15; Schmidt, 6-12-24; Fritz, 0-2-2; Gander, 3-0-6; Gimmer, 3-4-10; Johnson, 1-1-3. Totals: 20-22-66.
McFarland (54)—Eversoll, 7-5-23; Anderson, 1-0-2; Frazier, 1-0-2; Brunker, 1-0-2; Hettinger, 1-0-2; Ujke, 3-1-8; Culver, 2-0-5; Kranz, 4-2-10. Totals: 19-8-54.
Edgerton 22 9 15 20—66
McFarland 11 14 21 8—54
Three-point goals—Edgerton 4 (Ferrell 4), McFarland 6 (Eversoll, Ujke, Culver). Free throws missed—Edgerton 12, McFarland 2. Total fouls—Edgerton 15, McFarland 23.