Free throws haven't been a strength for Giles County's boys this season, but it was hard to tell on Thursday night.
The Bobcats hit 14 of 16 from the foul line during the final 1:30 in a 61-53 win over Hunters Lane in the first round of the Beech Holiday basketball tournament.
The score was tied at 47 when Giles County (10-1) made its run at the foul line to win its fifth straight game.
Hunters Lane (9-6) went 0-for-4 at the foul line during the final 1:30.
"We've stressed free throws all season long even if we go back to last summer," Bobcats coach Billy Holt said. "In the close ballgames, free throws usually determine the outcome, and it probably determined the outcome tonight. We haven't been bad at the foul line this season, but we haven't been as good as I want them to be."
Giles County went 25-of-35 at the foul line, while Hunters Lane went 13-of-17.
Giles County will play Beech in the semifinals at 8:30 tonight. Hunters Lane will play Springfield in the losers bracket at 2:30 p.m.
Austin Howard, a 6-foot-3 forward, led the Bobcats with 23 points.
"Hunters Lane played us pretty hard, but our team knocked down free throws," Howard said. "Free throws were big tonight. We've been struggling with them all year, but we came through down the stretch."
Power forward Devante Jimenez added 14 for the Bobcats.
"We had to knock the free throws down, and we did," Jimenez said. "Free throws have been a little iffy for us this year, but we pulled it off tonight. Twenty-three points is normal for Austin. Usually he drops 23 or 30 a game."
Brannon Clay, a 6-1 swingman, led the Warriors with 19 points.
"Brannon had a pretty good game, but we need some more guys to step up and give him some help," Warriors coach Anthony Sewell said. "(Howard) made some big shots for Giles County. We've got to do a better job defensively."
McGavock 64, White House 38: Rhyse Randolph scored 17 points for McGavock (8-4).
Centennial 46, Marshall Co. 40: Matt Pond scored 21 points for Centennial (9-4).
Station Camp 47, Hunters Lane 41: Kia Perry scored 16 points for Station Camp (11-3), and Deandrea Sawyers scored 22 for Hunters Lane (6-7).
Independence 57, Beech 53: Hannah Winters scored 25 points for Independence (9-4).