By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
Prior to Wednesday night's game against North Greene, the Western girls basketball team had been struggling from the free-throw line.
That's a distant memory now.
The Wildcats made just one field in the second half of their 64-55 victory, but made more than enough free throws to make the lead last. Western sank 39 of 56 free throws, attempting the third most free throws in a game in Illinois High School history.
Western (10-15) is tied with three other schools -- Waltonville in 1989, Chicago Mother McAuley in 1990 and Williamsville in 1990 -- with 56 attempts. Homewood-Flossmoor owns the single-game record with 61 attempts in a 1994 game against Providence St. Mel. Campbell Hill is second on the list with 59 attempts against Woodlawn in 1998.
Loren Melton was the most efficient of any Western shooter, knocking down 20 of 23 free throws. That ties her for 15th in IHSA history in single-game made free throws.
"She just kept making them," Western coach Jim Shields said.
Melton finished with 26 points, while Rachel Motley scored 18 points, including hitting a 3-pointer for the only field goal of the second half.
LaPlata Tournament: North Shelby outscored Canton 22-7 in the fourth quarter to erase a three-point deficit and pick up a 43-31 victory in the consolation bracket.
Brianna Cochenour led the Lady Raiders (8-11) with 15 points, while Elizabeth Lindberger added 13 points and Mercedes Nute had 11.
Brittany Berhorst led Canton (2-16) with seven points.
LaPlata Tournament: Cairo built a 15-point lead by halftime and knocked off North Shelby 74-43 in the semifinals. Jacob Rich led the Raiders (10-9) with 12 points.
JWCC 61, Lincoln Land 53: John Wood picked up a MidWest Athletic Conference victory on the road by getting to the free-throw line 34 times and owning a 23-point edge from the charity stripe.
The Trail Blazers (15-6, 4-1 MWAC) limited the Loggers to just 34-percent shooting overall.
JWCC 58, Lincoln Land 43: Cheyenne Hedrington scored a game-high 14 points and pulled down eight rebounds in the Lady Blazers' MidWest Athletic Conference victory on the road.
JWCC scored 23 points off of 19 turnovers.
Kriza Allen added eight points for JWCC (12-9, 3-1 MWAC).