Sarah Meadows wasn't asking her team for a full dozen.
The Geneva girls basketball coach would've been satisfied with half of that, but her Vikings suffered through an uncharacteristic cold night from the free throw line against Oswego East on Saturday in the 27th Annual Subway Classic at Willowbrook.
The Vikings missed 12 of 20 free throws and ultimately fell short of beating the Wolves, 52-49.
"It's frustrating. We've actually done really well from the free throw line thus far (this season), but not tonight," Meadows said. "We just have to win these close games. We need a good win and I hate that. That's negative to say, but we've lost close games like this and we've got to get one of these."
Geneva (14-3) had put itself in a position to possibly win, but its inability to knock down free throws proved to be a difference-maker, especially with the game on the line in the fourth quarter.
Still, even with their struggles at the free throw line, the Vikings remained within a basket of tying or taking the lead until the buzzer sounded.
The Vikings made a costly turnover while trailing 49-46 with 21.8 seconds left, but the Wolves only converted a pair of free throws to make it a 50-46 game.
Stephanie Hart's 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left pulled the Vikings to within 50-49, but the Vikings were forced to foul Ty Battle, who made a pair of free throws with 1 second left.
A desperation full-court pass from Geneva landed in Battle's hands and then the buzzer sounded to end the game.
It shouldn't have come down to that though if the Vikings could've converted at the free throw line, especially since the Wolves took care of business themselves. Geneva missed 12 while Oswego East converted 16-of-23.
"Sometimes in games it comes down to the free throw line and I feel like we got lucky that they missed theirs because they're a very good shooting team," Oswego East coach Abe Carretto said. "Maybe some of the stuff we were doing in attacking got them a little tired."
There's no denying that the game had a frenetic pace but that subsided after the first quarter. The teams went back and forth with each team scoring 19 points before settling down in the second quarter.
"They pressed us at the beginning and we answered that and had layups so they had to take it off for the rest of the game which was a positive for us," Meadows said. "We have just got to make free throws. That's 12 points right there and you probably can't make all 12, but if you make 6 that's a 'W' ".
Despite the loss, Grace Loberg was dominant with 22 points and 15 rebounds.
"She was all over the place," Carretto said. "She was crashing the glass hard on misses and she got a lot of putbacks. She kept them in the game."
Madison Mallory added 9 points for the Vikings.