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THOMAS KELSEY, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Connor Stinson of Foothill shoots against Scott Hollingsworth of Temecula Valley in the fourth quarter. Temecula Valley beat Foothill, 63-57, at Temecula on Tuesday.

Foothill tripped up by Temecula Valley

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

TEMECULA Even with all the rebounds, turnovers, blocked shots, made baskets and strategy on both ends of the floor, many basketball games are still decided from 15 feet away with zero resistance.

Temecula Valley made 15 of 20 free throw attempts, including six straight down the stretch from senior forward Riley Schaefer, to preserve a 63-57 victory over visiting Foothill on Tuesday night in the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS Division 1A boys basketball playoffs.

“Free throws win or lose games, especially in the playoffs,” said Schaefer, who scored a game-high 25 points, including 11 of 13 from the line. “It’s the same routine, same motion every time.”

The No. 2-seeded Golden Bears (27-4) move on to host Camarillo in a semifinal Friday.

Foothill, which made only six of 15 free throws, finished the season 21-8.

Scott Hollingsworth’s offensive rebound basket gave Temecula Valley a 57-53 lead with 1:32 remaining. Schaefer swished his final six free throw attempts with under 30 seconds remaining to thwart any comeback hopes for the Knights.

The Knights battled back from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to pull within 54-53 on a 3-point shot by Paulo Araujo with 3:29 remaining. But the next four possessions for Foothill resulted in two turnovers, two missed 3-point attempts and a pair of missed free throws.

“Normally we’re a good free throw shooting team,” said Foothill senior guard Jacob Sanchez, who scored 11 points. “I guess we let it get to us. We couldn’t put some in, and we really needed those down the stretch.”

The Knights made just one of nine free throws in the second half.

“We could have had the opportunity to make seven free throws in a row, but I think we only made one,” said Foothill senior guard Lucas Araujo, who scored a team-high 13 points. “If we make those, it’s a whole different game from there.”


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