Faith Academy improves to 8-1
November 20, 2012, 11:00 am by Mark Goodson
By Mark Goodson
Highlander Sports Editor
Faith Academy showed its resiliency in pulling off a 53-48 win over Austin St. Michaels in the championship game of the Florence Tournament Saturday.
The Flames never led until the final two minutes of the game, but emerged with the victory to improve to 8-1 on the season.
Taylor Denton made two key three-pointers and JoAnna Piatek played excellent shutdown defense on St Michael’s top player down the stretch for the Flames.
St. Michaels, a 5A private school, was unbeaten coming into the game against the Flames.
Denton finished with 14 points on five of 12 shooting. Bailey Brinkley and Kristen Cherry added 10 points each while Piatek had seven, Juliette Fisher six and Rebecca Graham six points.
Fisher led in rebounding with eight of the team’s 21 rebounds.
The Flames had a tough first half shooting just five of 40 from the floor, but held on because of its free throw shooting to stay within six points at the break.
St. Michaels led 26-20 at halftime.
In the second half Faith Academy scrapped away and outscored St. Michael’s 22-11 in the fourth quarter to pull off the win.
"It was one of the strangest games I have been associated with,’’ said Faith Academy coach Jerry English. "We never led until 1:45 left in the game. The first half we shot five of 40. We could not throw it in the ocean. We played really hard, but just could not get anything to fall.’’
At 1:45 left in the game, Faith Academy was down by two points.
Denton hit a 3-pointer to put the Flames in the lead.
St. Michael’s hit one of two free throws to tie the game at 47.
At that points, Brinkley, Fisher and Denton all had four fouls.
On the next possession, Piatek got the ball at the high post and made a great pass to Denton who hit a 3-pointer to go ahead 50-47.
Denton made another free throw and then stole the long pass and made a tough layup to clinch the win. JoAnna Piatek played great defense in the second half against their best player.
"I am really proud of my team, even when we could not get anything going on offense. we fought them on defense and rebounding,’’ English said.
Faith Academy shot 71 percent from the free throw line (17 of 28).
Faith Academy beat Lago Vista and Austin Lanier to advance to the finals.
The Flames return to action Tuesday night with a matchup with Sunny Brook of San Antonio.
The team is off for the Thanksgiving break, returning for a Nov. 27 home game with Cherokee.
The Flames will be in the Johnson City Tournament, Nov. 29 through Dec. 1.
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