Missed FTs leave Grady in foul mood

Grady’s John Schueler corrals an offensive rebound during the second half of Friday’s championship game of District 4-1A boys tournament. CNJ photo by Rick White.

By Rick White

GRADY — The parade to the foul line started less than three minutes into the game and didn’t end until the final buzzer sounded — 47 fouls and 96 free throws later.

Surviving early foul trouble and making free throws when it counted, Logan outlasted Grady 76-69 on Friday to win its sixth-straight District 4-1A boys tournament title.

Grady coach Ken Kostedt blamed poor free throw shooting throughout the game for costing the Bronchos a chance to sweep the regular-season and tournament titles.

“We missed 20 free throws and lost by seven,” Kostedt said. “You can’t miss free throws and layups and expect to win.”
Kirk Burns scored 30 points for Logan (13-15) despite missing a big chunk of the second half in foul trouble. J.D. Estrada added 19 points and took over when Burns and several other starters were on the bench.

“We had a lot of kids step up,” Logan coach Jerry Franklin said. “The biggest difference was I think we’re a little deeper team.”

Jarrod Lindsey led Grady (14-13) with 23 points, including 17 in the second half, and post John Schueler added 19 in the foul-a-thon that included 60 free throws in the final 12 minutes.

Grady, which beat Logan twice in district play, converted just 27-of-47 free throws, including missing the front end of several one-and-ones.

Both teams advance to next week’s regional tournament hosted by the District 1-1A champion. After the teams traded the lead for most of three quarters, Logan went up for good 49-48 on Estrada’s driving layup.

The Longhorns sealed the win by making 14-of-19 free throws in the fourth quarter.

An inside basket by Jake Abercrombie and the first two of eight Estrada free throws in the fourth quarter helped stretch Logan’s lead to 60-49 with a little less than six minutes to go.

The run came with Burns and two other starters on the bench.

“We were just trying to run some kind of offense,” Franklin said, “They tried to trap us and we did some good things.
“We kept out heads screwed on and got it to the open guy.”
Grady was unable to draw closer than eight points the rest of the way.