LAKE ELSINORE -- Last Thursday, Temescal Canyon's Onu Wami led the clank parade, missing all six of her free-throw attempts. Her teammates combined to miss another six charity tosses in the Titans 49-42 loss at Elsinore.
Instead of sulking, Wami spent the next few days at practice, bending her knees, extending her elbow and getting back to the basics.
"We worked all practice on her free throws. We had different coaches working with her," said Titans coach Sarah Brust. "She's always on the line because she works so hard under the basket."
Wami made her coaches proud Tuesday night. The junior forward sank 10 of 12 freebies en route to an 18-point performance in Temescal Canyon's 60-40 win over visiting Paloma Valley.
The Titans improved to 16-2 overall and 2-1 in the Sunbelt League. Paloma Valley dipped to 10-10 and 1-2 in league play.
"I went through (free throw) training, fixing my follow through," said Wami, who collected nine rebounds, while playing harassing defense. "I felt very comfortable at the line tonight."
Arica Nassar chipped in with 15 points and 17 rebounds, while frontcourt teammate Jessica Johnson added nine points and 15 rebounds, helping the Titans enjoy a decisive edge on the glass.
The Titans also rebounded at the free-throw line, connecting on 14 of 20 attempts -- much better than their 5-of-17 effort against the Tigers.
It may be Paloma Valley's turn to spend extra time working on its shooting touch. The Wildcats suffered through a two-point second quarter, missing all 15 of their shots.
"I think we had decent looks. We did a poor job of seeing the gaps that we needed," said Wildcats coach Nick Pardue. "We weren't sure when to shoot, and we weren't passing the ball enough and breaking down their defense.
"I felt like we got some shots that were so open that they weren't sure what to do with it at times, and then they just started missing and lost a lot of confidence."
Temescal Canyon scored only 11 points in the second quarter, but it was good enough for a 26-13 lead at the half.
"Our defense allows shots, but it allows rushed shots," Brust said.
"We feel like if we can get Arica or Onu rushing out there, in your face, it's a rushed shot.
"As long as we can make them rush their shots, our chances are a lot better than playing an inside game."
The Wildcats scored the last five points of the first quarter -- including a three-pointer by Brandy Howard -- to cut a nine-point deficit to 15-11.
But the meek second quarter put Paloma Valley in a hole it could not overcome. The Wildcats never got closer than 12 points in the second half.
"We were taking bad shots because nobody was moving the ball," said Howard, who scored more than half (21) of her team's total points -- including three 3-point baskets. "We should have gotten the ball into the post more. It would have led to better shots."