Byng — With the playoffs rapidly approaching, making free throws — especially late in the game — has never been more important. In fact, many times free throw attempts can be the difference between winning and losing.
Both Latta High School teams made difference-making free throws Friday night in a showdown with rival Byng Saturday night inside the Bill Koller Fieldhouse.
Shelbey Parnacher hit six fourth-quarter free throws — including a pair with nine seconds left — to help the Lady Panthers slip past Byng 38-37.
In the boys game, the Panthers hit 12-of-14 fourth-quarter charity shots in a 43-33 victory over the host Pirates.
Latta 38, Byng 37
After Parnacher hit what turned out to be the winning free throw, Byng (10-10) committed a turnover before getting a shot off.
Krisha Young missed the front end of a one-and-one for Latta (No. 8 in Class 2A) with 5.1 ticks left, giving the Lady Pirates one last chance. But a desperation 3-pointer by Alexis Hill at the buzzer was well off the mark.
“We were just hoping we got the last shot and the last score just like they were,” said Latta head coach David Tinkler. “That’s usually what it comes down to when we play them. It was a good W, especially this time of the year.”
Hill had hit two free throws with 27.4 seconds left to put Byng on top 37-36. And after a Latta missed field goal, Asya Tims missed a free shot with 13.6 remaining.
Parnacher then made a strong move to the basket, was fouled and sank here deciding free throws. The Latta senior hadn’t scored until her six pack of fourth-quarter free throws.
“The bottom line was, I told Shelbey to go get the ball. It wasn’t anything ingenious. It wasn’t anything I drew up. I just told her she had to go handle the ball. And she did. That was pretty big for us,” Tinkler said.