From the foul line.
Joey Lovelle walked to the free-throw line time after time in the second half Thursday night, as his 16-of-18 foul shooting helped Wauconda hold off visiting Antioch 55-50 in the Bulldogs' North Suburban Prairie Division opener.
Antioch coach Jim White walked up to Lovelle after the game, as Wauconda's senior point guard was being interviewed by reporters.
"We knew he could shoot free throws too," said White, grinning. "And yet we still wanted to put him (at the foul line) every darn possession."
That was cool with calm-and-cool Lovelle, who said he was shooting 92 percent from the stripe on the season coming into the game. His 18 points were a team high. All of his free throws came in the second half.
"That was huge," Wauconda coach Scott Luetschwager said after his Bulldogs improved to 5-2 overall. "He just has a knack for (free-throw shooting)."
"I just try to stay focused and use my legs," Lovelle said. "I focus on the rim the whole time and try not to hear any of the noise. I just focus on the shot. The form is the same every time."
White deviated from his norm in the third quarter. After Lovelle drew a foul and hit a free throw, tying the score at 26-26 with exactly three minutes left in the third quarter, White was whistled for a technical foul. Lovelle sank his second free throw, then drained both technical foul shots.
Before Antioch could get the ball back, Ricky Sidlowski (4 points, 6 rebounds) put back a Wauconda missed shot. The 6-point swing had the Bulldogs up 31-26, and they had the lead for good.
Lovelle hit 2 more free throws before the quarter ended. But point guard A.J. Marsiglio, who led Antioch (2-5, 0-2) with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals, sank a pair of foul shots to bring the Sequoits within 35-33 after three.
In the fourth, nearly every time Antioch made a basket, Lovelle would get the ball and inevitably draw contact. He shot 12 free throws in the quarter, sinking 10.
"We couldn't keep the ball out of his hands," White said.
The Sequoits refused to go quietly, with Marsiglio's third 3-pointer pulling them within 51-48 with 37 seconds left. But 2 free throws apiece by Lovelle and center Ben Carlson kept Antioch at bay.
The 6-foot-6 Carlson finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. Dion Head and Dylan Latiolais had 7 points apiece for Wauconda, which trailed 21-20 at halftime. Antioch took a 26-25 lead on a basket by Jack Kovach (9 points, 5 rebounds) with 3:24 left in the third.
"We always play Antioch close," Luetschwager said. "They fight. They scrap. The whole game they out-scraped us."
"It's nice," Lovelle said after the Bulldogs won for the fourth time in their last five games. "The first half was bad. We let (Antioch) drive a lot and get a lot of open looks and kicks. The second half we got a chance to restart, and we took advantage of it. And we got our win.
"They were tough," Lovelle added of the Sequoits. "They're really scrappy. They do not stop."