Those free shots can boost you, or break you.
The Centennial Centaurs have found that out the hard way, but this week the senior boys AAA basketball team has made the most of it, too.
They went 24-for-32 from the free throw line on Tuesday en route to a 65-51 victory over the Riverside Rapids.
That bumps the Cents record in the Fraser Valley North League to 2-1, while Riverside fell to 0-3.
"We started to attack their zone much better in the second half," noted Centennial coach Alan Kaselj. "In the first half we just settled for shots from the outside."
Grade 12 forward Justin Buren topped all shooters with 29 points.
It came on the heels of last week's 73-49 win over Port Moody, where Gr. 11 guard Nick Okamoto tallied 23 points and Admir Hajdarevic chipped in 17 - including five three-pointers.
With league play the key to success, the Cents are ramping up the attack as the games roll up. Heritage Woods currently lead the North league at 4-0, after knocking off the Terry Fox Ravens 72-64 on Tuesday.
"Our league is really up in the air, from the top to the bottom. We don't have true top-five teams (in B.C.) like we have had the last few years, so we have a lot of parity. If you show up flat in this league, you are going to lose," added Kaselj.
In a showdown of the undefeated, the Heritage Woods Kodiaks shook off some turnover troubles with some sharp shooting and held on to edge the Terry Fox Ravens 72-64 in Port Moody.
Trailing by nine to start the second quarter, the Kodiaks ramped it up, getting three treys from Ryan Salberg to lead by four at the half. While Heritage added to that with some quick footwork to begin the third frame, the never-say-die Ravens pulled within three with four minutes remaining.
Heritage Woods cooled Fox's heated rally with some smart contributions from Justin Chohan, Tamam Gasmalla, Dakota Johnston and Abel Szigeti.
Salberg led the Kodiaks with 19 points, while Tommy Tweedlie-Sexton hit some clutch free throws and Henry Choy hauled in timely steals. The Port Moody school stands alone at 4-0 in the North, while Fox fell to 3-1. Pitt Meadows, at 2-0, is also undefeated.
Meanwhile, the Pinetree Timberwolves grabbed some breathing room in the fourth quarter en route to a 59-48 win over the Port Moody Blues.
While it wasn't easy, the important part was that when the buzzer sounded it was a mark in the win column, Pinetree head coach Doug Bell said.
"It was a couple of points difference right until the end of the third (quarter)," said Bell. "We won because everybody scored as a team, everyone contributed with points. I think when you have any player on the floor able to score, that is a big help."
Clarence Chung led the T-wolves with 11 points.
Cashing in on their best chances remains a challenge for Pinetree.
"That's one of the things we're working on, execution," said Bell. "We're a team that has to come together and we're still working on that, too."
Centennial, who played 1-2 Pinetree yesterday (past The NOW's deadline), heads to the Island to compete in the Vanier Tournament.
On Tuesday, Pinetree visits Dr. Charles Best, while Gleneagle goes to Terry Fox.