27-straight free throws earns AHSAA Spotlight
Vina High School senior post player Sara Scott quietly had a free-throw shooting stretch over a recent six-game stretch that caught veteran Vina head coach Richie Hester’s attention.
Scott sank 27 free throws in a row in that stretch and made 37 of 39 overall through the past seven games. She also pulled down 97 rebounds – an average of 13.9 per game – and earned the AHSAA Girls’ Basketball Spotlight of the week.
“We got to looking back and realized she was on a really good streak,” said Hester. “I wasn’t really surprised. She has really been one of the most consistent players I have ever coached.”
Scott, for her part, said she had no idea she was on such a streak. “I didn’t realize it at the time,” said Scott. “I was just doing what I’ve done since the fourth grade.”
Scott said she has always taken pride in her free–throw shooting, trying to shoot as many as 100 free throws a day during the season and in the offseason.
“I like to see how many I can make in a row in practice and how many I can make overall and just build on it,” Scott added. “I think it just comes natural in a game because I practice it so much.”
Scott was six for seven making her last six free throws in a game versus Brilliant Dec. 14. The next game, versus Waterloo, she was nine for 11, sinking her last five to start the streak.
She then was perfect in three games at the Waterloo Christmas Tournament, going four for four with 12 points in a 51-43 loss to Woodville; two for two with eight points in a 45-39 setback to Colbert Heights; and four for four in a 52-42 tournament game loss to Waterloo – carrying 15 in a row into the New Year’s break.
She opened 2022 with 24 points and a perfect 10 of 10 effort in a 64-39 loss to Hackleburg Jan. 4 to stretch the streak to 25.
She then sank her first two free throws against Booneville, Miss., Jan. 7 before finally missing to end the streak at 27.
The AHSAA state record for consecutive free throws made in girls’ basketball is 45, set by Cullman guard Anna Katherine Eastman. She made her last 42 free throws in the 2018-19 season and her first three in 2019-20 to finish with 45.
Scott’s 27 in a row ranks 12th best all-time in the AHSAA for girls.
The 5-foot-9 senior has started for Vina for five years. The Red Devils have won 74 games during that span. She pulled down the 1,000th rebound of her career in the first game of the season this school year versus Shoals Christian and managed her 1,000th career point against Woodville at the Waterloo tourney.
“She works very hard to be the best she can be. She is also an Upward Bound student and a solid A-B student,” said Hester. “It has really been a privilege for me to have the opportunity to coach her.”
Scott said she plans to attend Northwest-Shoals Community College and transfer to the University of North Alabama to major in either English or elementary education. She also wants to pursue a career in coaching.