WRIGHTSVILLE -- Eastern York head coach Cheryl Land wouldn't reveal her secret method she uses in practice to improve the foul shooting of her team.
Whatever the exact practice routine is, junior guard Lauren Beaver said the team has to run as a punishment for missed foul shots, whether they happen in practice or in a game.
With that being said, the Golden Knights must have done a lot of running this season.
Entering Wednesday night's District 3-AAA first-round contest against No. 9-seed Trinity, Land said her team was shooting around 51 percent from the charity stripe on the year.
So, it came as no surprise that one of the first things Land wanted to chat about afterward was her team's clutch shooting from the line in the back-and-forth 53-48 win over Trinity.
The No. 8-seed Knights (17-7) made 17 of 19 free-throw attempts (89 percent) in the victory, including an 8-of-9 performance in the final period that started with host Eastern trailing, 30-29.
"That may have been the difference in the game for us," said Land, who is in her first year coaching Eastern. "We were 51 percent as a team (coming in). We've been doing things a little bit different in practice. I can't tell you the secret. So that was a big difference for us."
Eastern led 15-11 after the first quarter and 23-22 at halftime. Trinity junior guard Briana Betz-White (15 points), who entered with a team-leading 11.7 points a game average, hit a reverse layup in the final minute of the third quarter to give her team the lead heading into the final period.
The Knights got all of their points from the starters. But the offense for the York-Adams Division III champions was balanced between juniors Lauren Beaver (10 points) and Morgan Thomas (11 points) and seniors Elizabeth Myers (nine points) and Krissy Pennell (seven points). Sophomore guard Leah Myers finished with six points.
Eastern took the lead back on a bucket to open the fourth quarter and never relinquished it. Trinity (12-11) pulled to within one with 3:58 left and later within two, 40-38, with 40 seconds remaining.
On Eastern's next possession, Elizabeth Myers hit her first free throw with 17.8 seconds left. After she missed the second attempt, teammate Leah Myers pulled down the offensive rebound and dished the ball out to Pennell, who then drained two free throws with 6.5 seconds left to seal the win.
Land, a former head coach at Lancaster Country Day and former assistant on some very successful York Catholic teams, earned her first District 3 girls' basketball victory as a head coach.
"We need to be able to coach in those kind of games," Land said. "Not to pat ourselves on the back, but I think we grew up as a staff tonight and we did a pretty decent job."
The Golden Knights next face top-seeded Palmyra (25-0) at Milton Hershey High School on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Palmyra beat No. 17 East Pennsboro (14-10), 71-43, on Wednesday.
OTHER GIRLS' DISTRICT 3 BASKETBALL
SUSQUEHANNOCK 68, CONRAD WEISER 37: At Glen Rock, the Warriors jumped out to a commanding 37-13 lead at the half, and went on to capture the Round of 16 victory. Leah Deter led the Warriors' offense with a game-high 20 points. Teammate Katie Wagner added 15 points for the winners. With the victory, Susquehannock (16-7) moves to the quarterfinals to face Lancaster Catholic on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Milton Hershey.
VERITAS ACADEMY 40, CHRISTIAN SCHOOL OF YORK 37: At Christian School of York, the host Crusaders trailed 31-26 entering the final quarter, but came up just short in their comeback attempt. Jordan Miller led the Crusaders with 13 points. Veritas Academy shot 7 for 11 from the foul line, while the Crusaders were just 7 for 17. With the loss, Christian School of York has been eliminated from districts and finished the season with an overall record of 11-9.
-- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.