Late free throws lift Seton past Arcadia - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Late free throws lift Seton past Arcadia

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Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012 9:54 pm

Seton Catholic used the three-point line to jump on visiting Arcadia early, and then used the free throw line to finish the Titans off in a second-round Division II girls basketball game Friday.

The Sentinels made 12 of 14 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter to finally put away No. 13 seed Arcadia, 55-50.

Third-seeded Seton (21-8) advances to Tuesday's quarterfinals where it will meet No. 6 Flowing Wells at Grand Canyon University Arena at 4:15 p.m. Arcadia finishes 24-6.

The Sentinels, who won the previous two Class 4A-II state championships, finished with a 16-3 advantage from the free throw line and their only misses in the fourth quarter came in the final three seconds.

"We have a little thing that we do where we don't think about it (shooting free throws)," Anne Marie Holter said. "We just go up there and shoot it. That's the key: don't think."

Holter finished with a game-high 22 points and hit 11 consecutive from the line, including eight in the fourth quarter. Teammate Julie Barcello added 21 points and 15 rebounds.

Barcello scored eight first quarter points as the Sentinels made their first four three-point attempts to open a 20-10 lead. It was her banked three-pointer from the right elbow that gave Seton its biggest lead of the game at 34-19 with five minutes remaining in the third quarter.

"I think we got a little comfortable in the first quarter," Barcello said. "We have to keep going after them. We knew they had some talent especially in the post."

Seton took a 41-30 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Titans wouldn't go away. They eventually cut the gap to 51-47 on a three-pointer from Megan Gillespie with 1:14 left in the game.

"We had some mental lapses on defense," Seton coach Karen Self said. "And we made some bad decisions with the ball. We knew they were going to make a run. Their seniors just kept coming after us."

After Arcadia cut the lead to four, Seton's Susan Spinner hit a pair of free throws and Holter added two more to make it 55-47 with :33 remaining. Arcadia's Gianna Grumbein made a three-pointer 10 seconds later to make it 55-50. Seton was able to run out the clock from that point.

"We just dug too deep of a hole," Arcadia coach Ives Machiz said. "I was proud of the way our girls kept climbing back. But to come back from 15 against a really good team is very tough."

Gabrielle Evans led Arcadia with 14 points and Katie Walters added 13.

The teams combined to make 13 of 20 first quarter field goals, but hit just seven of 26 in the second frame. After missing its first five three-point attempts, the Titans hit five of 11 in the second half to stay in the game.

"We talked at halftime how we knew they weren't going to give up," Self said. "We have some young players going through the playoffs for the first time. This was a good win for us."

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]