Making free throws was not an easy task for Maine West's girls basketball team on Saturday.
But junior guard Allison Pearson made sure they wouldn't cost her team a game at the Fremd Invite on Saturday afternoon.
When the Warriors need them the most, Pearson delivered with a pair in the final minute and half and they proved to be the difference in a 34-32 triumph over Marian Catholic.
But that was hardly the lone contribution Pearson made in the Warriors' eighth win in nine games.
She also fired home the 3-point basket that tied the game at 32-32 with less than three minutes remaining.
"Allison is a three-year varsity starter and her experience is finally paying off," said Maine West coach Kim DeMarigny. "She is our floor leader. She stepped up with those 2 big free throws and knocked down that big 3-pointer."
The big free throws came after the Warriors had converted only 11 of 18.
"We struggled early on at the free throw line," said DeMarigny, whose team trailed 14-10 at half and 23-17 after three quarters. "But Allison stepped up with those big one at the end which captains are supposed to do."
Pearson finished with 8 points and 4 steals.
"We put a big emphasis on free throws," Pearson said. "We practice them every day. We also focus on defense. Our free throws were not really there this game but the defense is what won the game for us."
West held the Spartans under double digits in each quarter but the second when they scored 10 points.
"That's been our theme -- we try to go out and play good defense every game," DeMarigny said. "And we really stepped up doing that this game."
Sophomore Rachel Kent led the Warriors' offense with 11 points along with 3 steals while junior Alisa Fallon added 8 points with 6 steals, one night after collecting a triple-double against Deerfield (10 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists).
Acacia Hernandez and Kent also had 3-pointers for West while Jessica Riedl and Fallon each made a team-high 4 free throws.