ANDERSON — Boys basketball coaches looking for an instructional video on the importance of free-throw shooting might want to find tape of Yorktown’s performance Friday night at the Tepee.
A Tigers team that came into the contest with no player shooting better than 63 percent from the charity stripe sank 25 of 31 attempts against Anderson and escaped with a closer-than-it-looked 58-46 victory.
Junior Riley Neal led Yorktown (6-1) with 23 points and 16 rebounds, shooting 7-for-12 from the field and 9-of-13 from the free-throw line. His interior presence allowed the Tigers to withstand an early Anderson run and take a 27-20 lead at the half.
Despite shooting just 27 percent from the floor, the Indians (3-5) managed to stay alive for most of the contest.
The second half became a game of runs. Anderson got things started with an 8-3 run to pull within 30-28, but the Tigers answered with a 7-0 spurt to reclaim control.
That’s when Yorktown head coach Greg Miller made his biggest misstep. A technical foul with 1:15 remaining in the third quarter ignited a 10-0 Tribe run and gave Anderson its final lead of the game at 38-37 early in the final period.
Then the Tigers free-throw parade kicked into high gear. Caleb Morey jump-started another 7-0 run with a pair of charity shots, and Yorktown went 12-for-16 from the line in the fourth quarter overall.
Anderson pulled as close as 46-42 with 2:34 remaining, but it couldn’t keep Yorktown off the free-throw line. And the Tigers rarely missed.
Kobe Clay led the Indians with 11 points and seven rebounds, while two Tigers joined Neal in double figures. Morey finished with 13 points, and Riley Miller chipped in with 10.
Morey was 5-of-6 from the charity stripe, hitting all five of his attempts in the final period. Miller went 6-for-6 from the line, including 2-for-2 in the fourth quarter.
Jacob Preston also was perfect from the free-throw line in the final quarter, making all four of his attempts in the period and 5-of-6 overall. The Tigers shot just 15-for-38 from the field as a team, making one fewer field goal than the hosts.
The Indians were 8-for-15 from the charity stripe overall and 4-for-8 in the fourth quarter.
Weather permitting, Anderson will host Pendleton Heights in the first round of the Madison County tournament on Monday. The girls game is scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. with the boys game to follow.
On the Web For the story on the Union at Alexandria boys basketball game, visit heraldbulletin.com