Flames continue fighting through struggles

AUSTIN — The Faith Academy boys basketball team lost to St. Stephens Episcopal, 52-32, Monday.

St. Stephens raced to a 16-6 lead in the first period and increased the score to 30-13 by halftime. St. Stephens added 15 points in the third quarter to Faith’s seven.

The Flames outscored St. Stephens, 12-7, in the fourth.

“Basketball is like any other sport – it’s mental,” head coach Larry Berkman said. “We haven’t had a lot of time to talk about when things don’t go well.”

This marked the Flames’ fourth game in four days.

“Monday games are always tough,” Berkman said. “They didn’t play that well.”

Faith struggled offensively, he noted, and missed some easy shots.

“Those mistakes are easily correctable with a little time,” he said. 

At times the Flames have taken shots coaches would have liked the players to pass up because the defense has adjusted to ensure no open looks. 

“We also have to make sure they’re squared and their feet are set,” Berkman said. “They’re just learning. It’s always a learning process.”

Because there have been few practices, Berkman is faced with coaching fundamentals instead of making game adjustments, he said. 

“You don’t want to do the coaching part at game time,” he said. “We haven’t had a lot of time. We’re going to make mistakes. It’s how you respond to mistakes.”

Those mistakes can be attributed adjusting to how officials are calling the game, balls going through the hands of players and the temperature of the gym.

“It’s how you handle all those little bitty distractions,” the coach said. “We’re struggling to learn those things, too.”  

William Diamond had nine points and seven steals. Chase Penner dropped in seven followed by Adrian Byrd with five, and Brett Piatek added three. 

Ryan Roberts recorded four assists, while Piatek grabbed five rebounds. 

Berkman said he was looking forward to practices Tuesday and Wednesday. 

“We want to encourage them that it’s going to be all right,” he said. “There’s always something to learn. We’ll keep stepping up the learning curve. They’re still working.”