Free throws helped Edgerton High’s boys basketball team extend its winning streak to eight games Thursday night.
The Crimson Tide made 24 free throws, including seven in the last 1:28 of the game, in holding off Beloit Turner 58-56 in a Rock Valley Conference thriller.
Jacob Fox and Dan Zeimet scored 17 points each as Edgerton swept the season series with the Trojans and improved to 8-2 in the Rock Valley and 10-2 overall.
Turner coach Ken Watkins, who saw his team lose for the fourth time in the last six games, said there was a reason Edgerton shot 32 free throws.
“I thought it was a well-officiated game,” Watkins said. “They shot more free throws because at the end of the day, Edgerton was way grittier than we were. They seemed to have two or three guys around when there was a loose ball, and if the ball seemed to hang on the rim and bounce around a couple times, they got to it.
“At the end of the day, we’ve got to quit making the excuse that we’re a young team.
That doesn’t cut it anymore.”
Turner trailed by nine at halftime but went on a 13-5 run to begin the second half, cutting the deficit to one with 13:15 to play. The Trojans eventually took a three-point lead on Dai’Vontrelle Strong’s offensive rebound and putback that made it 49-46 with 6:10 to play.
Edgerton responded with a 9-2 run to open up a 55-51 lead with 52 seconds left. Fox had four free throws to spark the run, and Donovan Cone added three more free throws for the Tide, who went 18-for-22 from the line in the second half.
Edgerton coach Daryl Fox said his team showed poise down the stretch.
“We work a lot on our free-throw shooting but still haven’t shot that well from the line until tonight,” Fox said. “That was a nice surprise and shows how focused the kids were.
“I thought we really toughened up the second half. We gave up some second shots the first half but really rebounded well the second half.”
Steve Dillard hit his fourth 3-pointer of the second half for Turner to cut the lead to one, 55-54, with 39 seconds left, but Edgerton got two free throws from Zeimet with 24 seconds left to push the lead back to three.
Sereno Ferone scored down low to make it 57-56 with six seconds left, but Alec Johnson made the first of two free throws with 3.3 seconds left to give Edgerton a 58-56 lead. Johnson missed the second attempt, but Turner could not get a shot off in the final two seconds.
Fox had 13 points in the first half, while Zeimet had nine in the second half.
The 6-foot-6 Strong took over early in the second half and led all scorers with 18 points. Dillard added 12.
Edgerton moved into a second-place tie in the Rock Valley with McFarland, one-game behind front-running East Troy. The Crimson Tide play at McFarland next Tuesday and host East Troy next Friday.
EDGERTON 58, TURNER 56
Turner (56)—Reyes 2-3-7; Majeed 1-0-2; Strong 8-2-18; Ferone 4-0-8; Dillard 4-0-12; Wash Jr. 2-1-7; Tinder 1-0-2. Totals: 22-6-56
Edgerton (58)—Cone 1-8-10; Fox 6-4-17; Zeimet 5-6-17; A. Johnson 1-3-5; Jenny 0-2-2; Long 1-1-3; J. Johnson 2-0-4. Totals: 16-24-58
Beloit Turner 21 35—56
Edgerton 30 28—58
3-point goals—Turner 6 (Dillard 4, Wash Jr. 2), Edgerton 2 (Fox, Zeimet). Free throws missed—Turner 10, Edgerton 8. Total fouls—Turner 23, Edgerton 16. Fouled out—Majeed.