NORTH KINGSTOWN—South Kingstown seniors Mary Eden and Mary Matthews combined to take 10 foul shots in the final minute of regulation and overtime in Wednesday night’s girls basketball game at North Kingstown.
And their coach didn’t see a single one of them.
“It was just too stressful,” first-year SK coach Amanda Varone said. “I couldn’t watch. I’m also very superstitious, so when I didn’t watch, we made them.”
Apparently there’s nothing wrong with a little superstition as Matthews and Eden made eight of those 10 free throws to help the Rebels (10-2, 8-1 Division I-South) knock off previously undefeated North Kingstown 47-44 in overtime.
“After this game we know that we can push through and we have the stamina to keep going, to work hard and we can beat anyone,” Eden said. “We were most worried about this team because we kind of have a tendency to come into this gym, lose our heads and get nervous because it’s NK. It’s always a rivalry when NK plays SK.”
The way the Rebels won Wednesday was a stark contrast from what happened Monday night in a crushing 46-44 loss to La Salle in which SK went 5-for-19 from the free throw line.
“It’s not that we didn’t think we could beat La Salle, it’s just that we had a few hiccups – especially at the foul line,” Eden said. “Our foul shots lost us the game with La Salle but we definitely outhustled them and outworked them the whole game. It just came down to the foul line.
“…We worked on them a lot [in practice]. We spent probably half the practice shooting foul shots with running to kind of simulate the act of being exhausted and going to the line, then having to get the ball up there. We practiced it a lot and I think it showed tonight when we improved because that’s where we won the game.”
The Rebels may have ultimately won the game at the foul line, but for a time it seemed as if history was bound to repeat itself.
FOR MORE ON SK'S THRILLING OVERTIME VICTORY OVER THE SKIPPERS, PICK UP THE FRIDAY, JAN. 31 EDITION OF THE NARRAGANSETT TIMES.