Anne Marie Holter just ignored the big arena, the crowd and the stage, and made some free throws.
Holter must make them in practice because she hit six straight free throws in the final 47 seconds on Tuesday to lift No. 3-seeded Seton Catholic past No. 6 Tucson Flowing Wells 57-52 in the state Division II girls quarterfinals at Grand Canyon University.
"Me and my teammate Julia (Barcello) have this thing when it comes to free throws, we just can't think about it," Holter said. "We don't think about what's going on in the game, and we just shoot it like we were shooting in practice."
The two-time defending state champion Sentinels (22-8) face No. 7 Tucson Palo Verde at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday at Grand Canyon in the first Division II semifinal of the day.
Flowing Wells (27-4) scored the first six points of the final period and led 47-43 with six minutes remaining. But the Caballeros fell victim to the long shot - Holter and Susan Spinner (14 points) each made two 3-pointers to help Seton stay close. Then, Flowing Wells failed to convert on its possessions late, even with dominating Lyndsay Leikem doing everything for the Southern Arizona team.
"We've gotten down lots of times this season and I just felt confident that our kids would kind of get the flow of the game defensively," Seton coach Karen Self said.
Down 51-50, Leikem drove for a short shot that missed with 1:19 left but Karina Walker got two back after Holter's free throws with 47 seconds left, which again left Seton up by one.
Seton avoided getting fouled until Arie Wells fouled Holter with 18.8 seconds left. She again made the shots and then, on the ensuing in-bounds play, Leikem triggered the ball but Seton's Jessica Bailey knocked the ball to Holter, who was fouled again. Holter led all scorers with 24 points.
"We definitely felt we weren't playing our tempo," Holter said. "But coach kept getting on us, pressuring and playing our type of game and once we realized we could do it, we weren't afraid anymore and finally realized we needed to step up."
Leikem, who led Flowing Wells with 21 points, had trouble getting a shot off on the other end but time ran out anyway.
"This game could have gone either way," Self said. "A call or two goes a different way, you get a turnover instead of a bucket and it's an entirely different ballgame. So with a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work we eked this one out."
She got the Caballeros off to a great start with nine points and an assist in the first quarter as Flowing Wells took an 18-11 lead after eight minutes.
But then Seton rallied back in the second quarter, avoiding Leikem inside and hit a couple of outside shots, to cut the lead to 29-28 at the break. Self tried different defenses on the 6-foot-2 Leikem since the Sentinels don't have anyone taller than 5-11.
Seton was more patient in the second quarter in trying to keep up with the taller Caballeros, who like to play more up-tempo. The Caballeros fell behind by six early in the second half but were within 43-41 at the end of the third.
Seton won the last two 4A-II state titles. Flowing Wells won the 2008 4A-I title.
Flowing Wells beat No. 22 Prescott, 62-50, in the second round while Seton beat Phoenix Arcadia on Friday.