Basketball coaches like to say that free throws are free points. Liz Dwyer isn’t the sort to turn down free points. That’s one reason why the senior forward is on the verge of becoming Mattituck’s all-time leading scorer.
In an age when some wonder if foul shooting has become a lost art, Dwyer is a proficient shooter from the so-called charity stripe. What’s her secret?
Practice. Lots of practice.
Dwyer said she has been shooting about 40 free throws a day for the past five years or so. “I can zone everything out, focus on the shot and it helps me,” she said. “I like pressure now. I love seeing the NBA people who are like 15 percent from the foul line. I’m like, ‘How can you do that?’ ”
Foul shooting is also stressed in practices.
“We work on it,” coach Steve Van Dood said. “We drill her. She’s such a good shooter. We do a lot of foul shooting. So we do press them on foul shooting. We know it wins games.”
In two games this season, Dwyer has shot 18-for-23 from the foul line. For her five-year career, she is 358-for-518 (69.1 percent).
Opposing teams may want to think twice about fouling Dwyer and sending her to the line.
“Oh yeah, Liz is a great shooter,” Mattituck forward Alex Beebe said. “If I was the other team, I wouldn’t want to foul her because she’s going to get the two points anyway.”
• On a need to know basis
This can be filed in the What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You Department.
League VII/Class B Mattituck faced a League I team in Brentwood that reached the Suffolk County Class AA semifinals last season. Not that the Mattituck players themselves were particularly aware of that fact beforehand.
“None of us were informed about that,” Liz Dwyer said after the game.
That was by design.
“I don’t tell them anything,” Steve Van Dood said. “What they don’t know doesn’t hurt them.”
Photo caption: Liz Dwyer scores points in a variety of ways, including from the foul line. (Credit: Garret Meade)