Faith Academy loses, 46-43
March 01, 2013, 10:00 pm by Mark Goodson
By Mark Goodson
Highlander Sports Editor
Faith Academy couldn’t make free throws and failed to deliver in crunch time Friday in the TAPPS Division II state semifinals at Mansfield’s Lake Ridge High School.
Sherman Texoma Christian knocked off the Lady Flames, 46-43, despite neither team scoring in the final 1:24 of the wide-open game.
Shooting wasn’t pretty by either team throughout the contest, especially at the free throw line where Faith Academy shot 47 percent, making just 16 of 37 attempts. Texoma Christian, which has won four of the last five TAPPS Division II state titles, was seven of 12 from the free throw line.
Texoma Christian relied on its post player Hannah Bentson to score 23 points and lead the effort for the Lady Eagles, who have beaten the Flames in the Final Four before.
Faith Academy’s Bailey Brinkley led the Lady Flames with 18 points followed by Juliette Fisher’s 11 points.
"You can’t beat any good team and shoot free throws like that,’’ Faith Academy coach Jerry English said. ‘It was tough for us to try to get back into the game.’’
Faith Academy trailed by as many as seven (13-6 with 1:20 left in the first quarter), but took the lead and were in command after Brinkley made a strong move down the right side of the lane for an old-fashioned 3-pointer to give Faith Academy a 14-13 lead just 30 seconds into the second quarter.
The Lady Flames held the advantage throughout the second quarter but couldn’t capitalize on free throw attempts.
The game was knotted at 21 apiece at halftime.
The game stayed close throughout the rest of the game.
In the final 36 seconds, Faith Academy had two good opportunities to cut into the 46-43 lead. Bentson had given the Lady Eagles the cushion with an inside shot against the Faith Academy defense.
Faith Academy’s JoAnna Piatek, one of the team’s best passers, managed to get a 12-footer off with 30 seconds left and Juliette Fisher had a medium-range jumper with less than 10 seconds for the team’s best chances to into the final margin. Both shot were just off the mark, but were good shots.
With four seconds left, there was a chance for the Lady Flames to get the ball back for one last shot. The officials took time to rule on a possession and the ball was given to the Lady Eagles.
Texoma Christian inbounded the ball and ran out the clock.
Faith Academy played solid defense and rebounded well, but the team’s shooting was a far cry from what they had shown all season.
Faith Academy finished the season at 36-3.
For complete coverage, please read Tuesday's Highlander.
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