HOLDEN — Basketball can be like a verse from a Rolling Stones classic, something eight-time defending Class B state champion Fairview used to its advantage.
You can’t always get what you want. The Panthers got what they needed, making 20 of 27 fourth-quarter free throws to close a 73-62 victory over Holden in a quarterfinal girls basketball game played Saturday night at Holden School.
“I thought we did a pretty good job of taking care of the ball,” Callie Maddox said. “Not for the whole game but we did what we had to do. Maddison Martin did really well on her free throws. It made a difference.”
Maddox scored a game-high 29 points for third-seeded Fairview (38-5), while Martin, who made 7 of 10 free throws in the final 1:25, finished with 20.
Free throws dominated the fourth quarter and slowed the pace of an intense game in which neither team pulled too far away from the other.
The Panthers had just one field goal in the final eight minutes.
Fairview used free throws to build an eight-point lead, only to see Holden cut it to four at 67-63 on two free throws by Montori Weber with 32.1 seconds left. Forced to foul, the Rockets put Martin on the free-throw line less than a second later and she delivered twice more.
Sixth-seeded Holden (26-9) wanted to advance to the AllState Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Girls Top 28 tournament for the first time since beating Fairview in the 2006 final. Instead, third-seeded Fairview (38-5) could add to the string of titles it started in 2007. The Panthers meet No. 2 Lacassine at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday at Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles.
“There was about a four-minute span when we didn’t score, and we didn’t do a lot right,” Holden coach Pam Forbes said. “And then we fought back from that, but they kept making their free throws. Fairview beat us by 60 or 70 last year. I thought we played extremely hard. We just weren’t quite able to finish.”
Sydney Hayden led Holden with 22 points, while Kaylee Hughes (12) and Amanda Fekete (10) also scored in double figures. Headyn Reeves (11) and Lauren Taylor (10) also led Fairview.
The score was tied four times in the first quarter. Hayden scored 10 first-quarter points and finished with 13 points in the half. Maddox had 10 first-quarter points to pace Fairview.
Holden led 15-10 after a free throw by Holi Bankston with 1:27 left. Reeves tied it at 15-15 on a layup with 49.5 seconds left. The pattern of lead changes continued in the second quarter. A layup by Maddox with 25 seconds left gave Fairview a 32-31 halftime lead.
Holden led by four points four times in the third quarter. Even though the Rockets managed to disrupt some of what the Panthers wanted to do, Fairview rallied. Hayden scored to give Holden a 48-47 lead with 29.5 seconds left. But Maddox did it again scoring with 1.2 seconds left to send Fairview into the final quarter with a 49-48 lead.
“There wasn’t a lot of time running off the clock in the fourth quarter,” Fairview coach Kyle Jinks said. “It was a free-throw shooting contest, and we were fortunate enough to have the lead and make them in the end.
Martin added, “We practice it (free throws) every day. It was a close game, and I know free throws really count in a game like this.”