Nothing free for Wildcats

Jennifer Brown insists her Las Vegas High girls basketball team can make free throws.

She’s seen it in practice time and again.

But on Wednesday at Chaparral, free throws almost became Las Vegas’ worst enemy.

The Wildcats missed 12 consecutive foul shots in the fourth quarter, but then made the one that mattered most with 22 seconds to play to pull out a 28-27 victory over the Cowboys and remain tied for first place in the Northeast League.

Brianna Melton made the second of two free throws to break a 27-27 tie.

“They shoot free throws in practice like it’s nothing,” Brown said. “Then they come into a game and it’s like we don’t know how to shoot free throws.”

The Wildcats (5-5, 2-0 Northeast) were 2 of 20 from the line. Had they made even half of the foul shots, they would have pulled away for the win.

Free throws weren’t the only problem for Las Vegas, which struggled early against Chaparral’s zone defense and settled for perimeter shots in the first half. The result was a 4-for-30 effort from the field and a 17-8 halftime deficit.

“They wouldn’t run the offense,” Brown said. “We knew we had to drive. The lanes were open.”

Chaparral (2-4, 1-1) had two chances to tie or win the game in the final 10 seconds, but missed the front end of a one-and-one and a potential stick-back basket after grabbing an offensive rebound.

Contact reporter Bartt Davis at or 702-387-5230.


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