The typical game-day schedule for Hart High’s basketball team includes free-throw shooting during sixth period.
However, Hart Coach Greg Herrick omitted that drill from the agenda Tuesday because of a faculty meeting.
Herrick likely will miss meetings instead of drills in the future after missed free throws almost proved costly in a 75-65 victory over Burroughs in a Foothill League game Tuesday night at Burroughs.
Hart made only 16 of 31 free throws and was one of four in the first quarter.
“We usually shoot free throws before the game, but we didn’t do it today and it showed,” Herrick said.
Burroughs trailed, 57-42, with 6 minutes 20 seconds left but used a 7-0 spurt to close within, 62-59, on a basket by Phil Hernandez with 3:31 to play.
However, Hart (13-5, 5-0 in league play) put the game out of reach, scoring nine of the next 11 points to take a 71-61 lead with 1:19 left.
The victory was Hart’s 10th in a row and first at Burroughs in two seasons.
“We have a tendency to give up when we’re ahead,” said guard Tony Valenzuela, who finished with 19 points to lead five Hart players in double figures. “We’re not used to holding the ball and using the clock wisely. All season we’ve been inconsistent.”
Valenzuela was on target from three-point range, connecting on five of seven attempts. Marty Downen had 17 points and Keith Halcovich added 14 and 10 rebounds.
Burroughs forward Rick Mulloy, who had scored 20 or more points in the first four league contests, was limited to 14 before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.
“We just got pounded inside and didn’t get the production from the guys we needed,” Burroughs Coach Ira Sollod said.
Victor Hernandez led Burroughs with 15 points and Mulloy added 10 rebounds.
Hart led at halftime, 31-24, and by as many as nine points in the second quarter.
Mulloy scored to bring Burroughs within 20-18, but Valenzuela hit a three-point basket to spark a 7-0 run.
Hart burst to a 12-4 lead midway through the first quarter, but Burroughs (8-9, 2-3), the two-time defending league champion, scored nine unanswered points to take a 13-12 lead at the end of the period.