JOHNSTOWN — The Windsor boys basketball team toed the line — literally — Tuesday night.
In fact, 37 times.
By comparison, Roosevelt only shot 12 freebies and despite an impressive 12-2 run to open the second half, fell short in a 62-57 Class 4A Tri-Valley Conference loss to the Wizards.
Windsor improves to 2-0 in conference play, 7-4 overall. Roosevelt is 1-1, 4-6.
“We’d always like to get to the line more,” a politically correct Roosevelt coach Joe Brown said.
Windsor coach Dustin Duncan’s explanation for the free-throw discrepancy was “Hey, we did a good job of attacking the rim.”
The Wizards were also ferocious at the line, draining 26 free throws, including 6-of-8 in the final 2 minutes, 19 seconds and after Omar Rivera and Mason Reinick fouled out.
The Wizards hit the boards hard at the offensive end, pulling down 24 offensive rebounds.
Ironically, it was a basket albeit after a missed free throw, that proved huge for the Wizards with 4:33 left to play.
Windsor’s Alex Baldwin (14 points, 5 rebounds), went up and grabbed the errant free throw of Dalton Walker (20 points) in midair and banked home the rebound to stretch the Wizards’ lead to 52-45.
Roosevelt’s best response was the combo of Michael Mitchell (game-high 23 points) and Cameron Weber (11 points), but it never got closer than five until the final minute.
“I saw Mitchell go into the paint and I went right and ball came off the rim right where I was jumping,” Baldwin said. “I knew we needed points at that time, and it made it nice to get the basket after a missed free throw. It turned that possession into a three-point possession.
Baldwin also hit a key layup in the final minute to give the Wizards some breathing room at 57-50.
“Baldwin is a leader on our club,” Duncan said. “He plays well at both ends of the court.”
Baldwin kept Roosevelt’s Rivera to just six points.
Mitchell and the Rough Riders put on an impressive play of running the floor to open the third quarter as Windsor went into a funk, committing turnovers that aided Roosevelt’s 12-2 run.
The Wizards didn’t’ score their first basket of the second half until the 4-minute mark as Drew Bunday hit his only basket of the game to help the Wizards regain the lead at 39-38.
The Wizards than canned six free throws while Roosevelt’s only points in the final 2:56 of the period came on a 3-point howitzer by Mitchell.
“I really felt like we had it,” Mitchell said. “At the end of the day, you have to finish. It looks like free throws won it.”
The Rough Riders shot 40 percent from the floor and rode the hot hand of Weber in the first quarter before Windsor’s Dylan Ochsner (17 points) unloaded 11 second-quarter points to help the Wizards enjoy a 10-point lead at halftime.
“We told the kids that Roosevelt wasn’t done though,” Duncan said. “To open the second half, we weren’t patient enough.”
Eventually, the Wizards persevered, and the Rough Riders were good for only six baskets in the final 11:51 of the game.
“Down the stretch, a couple of shots didn’t go our way,” said Brown, whose team committed only eight turnovers. “Even though we didn’t win, this is a big step in the right direction for us.”
WHS 18 19 8 17 — 62
RHS 15 12 16 14 — 57
WHS — Drew Bunday 1 0-0 2, Tanner Bohn `1 2-2 4, Dylan Oshsner 4 7-9 17, Blake Bunday 0 2-2 2, Dalton Walker 5 4-6 14, Alex Baldwin 5 4-8 14, Lucas Watts 0 7-10 7, David Watson 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 26-37 62.
RHS — Zach Lagunas 0 0-0 0, Cameron Weber 6 2-5 15, Ray Hernandez 4 0-0 8, Cody Huston 0 0-0 0, Omar Rivera 2 2-4 6, Huver Lira 0 1`-3 1, Michael Mitchell 10 0-0 23, Mack Morford 0 0-0 0, Colby West-Walter 2 0-0 4, Mason Reinick 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 5-12 57.
3-point field goals — WHS 2 (Ochsner). RHS 4 (Mitchell 3, Weber).
Total fouls — WHS 13 (Watts fouled out). RHS 26 (Rivera, Best-Walter, Reinick fouled out).