Faith Academy girls basketball squad welcomes new year, 6-6 freshman center

JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

MARBLE FALLS — At 6 feet 6 inches, freshman Sedona Prince is hard to miss.

The Faith Academy girls basketball team welcomed the new center to the squad when the Lady Flames began after-school practice Oct. 20.

“Sedona obviously is a wonderful addition to our team and program,” Faith Academy head coach Jerry English said. “I feel like she’ll bring an awful lot to our team.”

Prince committed this summer to play collegiate basketball at the University of Texas at Austin. She’s not the only Division I prospect to play at Faith. She follows in the footsteps of Samantha Swarts, a member of the University of Incarnate Word team, and Ashley Field, who won a national title with Baylor University in 2011-2012.

During a full-court 3-on-2 drill at a recent practice, Prince blocked a half-dozen shots. She does not possess the accuracy on the low block that Swarts and Field had, but English said there’s a reason.

“She’s just 14 years old,” he said.

Faith Academy guard Taylor Denton (right) makes a pass through the outstretched arms of eighth-grader Paris Brinkley (left) during a recent practice.
Faith Academy guard Taylor Denton (right) makes a pass through the outstretched arms of eighth-grader Paris Brinkley (left) during a recent practice.

English said the defending Class 2A state champion Lady Flames are still working on their chemistry.

“We have an awful lot of pieces that are not on the same page,” he said. “Kids are trying to fit in from middle school, from other schools. Each one brings a different philosophy. Our philosophy needs to be the one everyone needs to go to.”

Two starters return from last year’s state championship team: senior guards Taylor Denton and Sierra Brinkley. Hannah Cozby logged significant minutes last season. The only three upperclassmen on the squad were elected team captains.

“Hannah has come a long way,” the coach said. “I think Hannah is ready to add to all dimensions of our team if she stays healthy.”

English said he anticipated suiting up 14 players for the 2014-2015 Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools season.

“There are no shortcuts to learning the game,” he said. “We are making a lot of young mistakes, but they are effort mistakes.”

An effort mistake is a player not following her missed shot or passing on an open shot.

The coach chuckled when asked if the Lady Flames have moved from just contending for a playoff spot to being in the state tournament conversation.

“We have had no depth in five years,” he said. “That to me is so important if you want to (play full-court defense.) We have allowed that part of our game to go because we didn’t have anyone coming to help us. (This season), I think our potential has been as good as it has been.”

Faith Academy begins the season at Austin Regents, 3230 Travis Country Circle in Austin, at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 4.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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