The ref tosses up the ball to start the game.
SLIDESHOW: Stretch run saves Foster in battle with Evergreen
The homestanding Foster Bulldogs converted nine out of 10 free throws in the final 1:38 to hold off a spirited Evergreen Wolverine comeback 52-42 and end their losing streak after five games to stay in the postseason picture on Fri., Jan. 11 at Coach Parker Court.
Foster improved to 4-4 league and 6-8 overall while Evergreen stood at 4-4 and 5-9.
"Those five games we lost were by a combined total of 20 points," said Bulldog head coach Isaac Tucker. "It was not a lack of effort, just mistakes. It took a lot of heart to lose a 12-point lead and still win. It would have been easy to to get down. After the 3-pointer No. 33 (Alex Campbell) made with the shot clock running down, it would have been easy to get down."
Trailing 41-29 early in the fourth quarter, the Wolverines refused to fold their tent, assembling a huge rally set up by turnover recoveries from the Bulldogs.
Campbell's pair of free throw conversions capped a Wolverine 10-0 surge based on turnovers that resulted in open short-range jump shots or lay ups.
Adem Suta's's two free throw hits were counteracted by Campbell's top of the key trey as the shooting clock was close to expiration and the Foster lead was down to 43-42 with 1:48 remaining in regulation game time.
Evergreen set up plays, but continually missed shots, being forced to foul due to time constraints.
After Foster made 6-of-7 charity tosses, Evergreen had two free throw opportunities that went awry to set up a pair of converted free throws from Samuel Waldemariam and two game-ending free throws by Suta.
"During the game, they didn't play together," said Wolverine head coach Tony White. "We practice the game plan, but don't execute during the game."
Foster fired up on the fast track rush into a 13-4 first quarter lead before Evergreen rallied back to 15-12 on a pair of Shammah Finau free throws that a Suta to Ronnie Roberson basket countered at the end of the quarter.
Evergreen closed within four points twice in the second quarter and Foster held a 27-22 halftime edge.
It was a Jimaun Horton's follow up basket that gave the Bulldogs 32-22 lead as 4:31 showed in the third quarter. Treys at key points turned the tide back to the Wolverines. Finau followed a Campbell three with one of his own and one Evergreen free throw later, and Foster lead only 32-29.
A Wolverine missed shot plus an outlet pass to Suta for a basket was followed by Horton's rebound basket to send the Bulldogs to the fourth quarter with a 36-29 margin.
Then, Horton nailed an outside shot ahead of Suta's left front trey to build up the Foster lead to 41-29 with 6:56 left in the quarter as the prelude to the final fourth quarter judgment.
Horton scored 16 points and Suta posted 14 to lead the Bulldogs. Roberson added eight.
For Evergreen, 6-foot, 5-inch Campbell posted 16 points. Chris Sainz chipped in with eight.
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