JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — Despite a first-round 76-50 loss to The Woodlands Christian on Feb. 19, Faith Academy of Marble Falls boys head basketball coach Randy Denton noted the 2015-16 season was one to remember for the Flames.
That’s because Faith (19-8 overall) entered the playoffs on a five-game winning streak, including a 67-57 victory against Temple Central Texas that sealed a second-place finish in District 4-3A.
And the Flames accomplished all of this despite losing their top two players from last season.
“All year, we were trying to fit the pieces together,” Denton said. “Not sure we found that cohesive unit. But it was definitely a successful season.”
There’s plenty to look forward to as well, he said. While the team will graduate seven seniors, the junior varsity was 10-0 in district play with its only loss to Class 2A Lago Vista.
“That says good things about the young guys coming up,” the coach said. “The cupboard is definitely not bare. This is just a continuation of trying to build a program.
Denton can remember when the Flames struggled to be a .500 team. Now they were one victory short of 20 wins for the second consecutive season.
“Honestly, the boys program wasn’t very good,” he said. “We’re definitely moving in the right direction.”
Against The Woodland Christian (21-11), Faith played catch-up throughout the first half and faced a five-point first-half deficit. But the Warriors put the game out of reach in the third quarter when they got on a shooting streak and couldn’t miss.
“They came down and executed,” Denton said. “Playoff basketball is very much like a college game in a one-game playoff. Kids get hot and can be the difference.”
Add to that the Flames didn’t have enough playoff experience in key positions, and the Warriors were able to cruise to victory. The coach said the Flames felt pressure to keep matching points with The Woodlands Christian.
“We executed poorly in the third quarter,” he said.
Junior guard Gage Blair led the Flames with 17 points.