When you miss 14 free throws, bad things come knocking — ask Tivy’s boys’ basketball team. The Antlers were 10-of-24 at the free-throw line and couldn’t mount a comeback against visiting Wagner in a 63-56 district loss on Friday night.
It wasn’t as if Tivy wasn’t in this game; the Antlers pushed Wagner throughout the night, including in the waning moments. Down 18-11 after the first quarter, the Antlers stormed back in the second quarter with a 9-0 run forcing a Wagner timeout with 4:41 left in the first half.
Wagner put on its own surge toward the end of the second quarter and tied 29-29 at halftime. The Thunderbirds jumped out to a quick 5-0 run in the third quarter and built a 42-36 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
However, Tivy’s size — led by Jackson Johnston — and quickness provided plenty of opportunities. Trailing by nine points early in the fourth quarter, Quentin Vega hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to six. Vega scored 11 of his team-high 19 points in the fourth quarter, including another 3-pointer with 1:22 left in the game that cut the lead to three.
But it was the free throws that hurt. The Antlers missed eight free throws in the fourth quarter. Mekhi Frazier did his job by hitting a pair of free throws to cut the Wagner lead to 57-56, but that was a close as the Antlers would get.
The victory boosted Wagner to 3-0 in the district, while Tivy fell to 1-3. Jaden Frausto scored 14 points for the Antlers.