JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — The Faith Academy of Marble Falls girls basketball team is one win away from returning to the Class 3A state tournament of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.
The Lady Flames (32-5, 12-0 in District 4-3A) beat Kennedale Fellowship 62-41 in an area championship Feb. 23.
“I’m very pleased with our kids,” head coach Jerry English said.
Going into the contest, Faith knew KFA was known for its 3-point shooting, so the Lady Flames made it a point to guard the arc closely and not give any open looks. Meanwhile, Faith’s offensive plan was to get the ball to senior post Hannah Cozby on the low block and make high-percentage shots.
That helped Faith build a 10-4 lead with Cozby scoring six points midway through the first period. But the Lady Broncos ended the quarter by nailing four 3-pointers to trim the deficit to 18-15.
The Lady Flames began the second quarter with a 9-0 run to take a 33-20 lead at the half and continued the momentum into the third period, outscoring the Lady Broncos 19-6 for a 52-26 advantage.
English said he was concerned after the first quarter but complimented his players for their tenacity on defense, noting that commitment led to the Lady Flames’ fast-break opportunities and the lopsided outcome.
“I thought I saw a little bit of fatigue (from KFA),” he said. “I thought we jumped on them in the third quarter. And when we started breaking the ball, they weren’t getting back as quick.”
The coach noted the team defense has been of the points of emphasis in practices. He said coaches have taught players to contest shots but not jump to block it from long distance.
“That’s the one area we have come the farthest,” he said. “We did a really good job of that. We didn’t make the silly fouls. We were very disciplined on shot fakes and stuff like that.”
And he commended the rebounding effort that limited the Lady Broncos’ second-chance points.
In addition, he noted the guards made the most of their opportunities, especially early when KFA clamped down on Cozby down low. The Lady Broncos double-teamed a Lady Flame in the paint, leaving one shooter open. The key, however, was Faith’s ability to hit long jumpers. Credit freshman guard Paris Brinkley, junior guards Addison Floyd and Allison Metzger for making the shots, no matter if they were from long range or layups.
ON OFFENSE: Points – Cozby 24, Metzger 14, Brinkley 9, A. Floyd 6, Logan Floyd 5, Hannah Marks 4; rebounds – Marks 8, Cozby 4, Metzger 3, Colette Boyd 1, Brinkley 1; assists – A. Floyd 13, Brinkley 5, Metzger 1, L. Floyd 1, Marks 1, Cozby 1
ON DEFENSE: Rebounds – Cozby 12, Metzger 6, Marks 5, Brinkley 4, L. Floyd 2, Boyd 2, Laura Benac 1, A. Floyd 1; steals – A. Floyd 2, Brinkley 2, Boyd 1, Marks 1
UP NEXT FOR FAITH: McKinney Christian in a regional final Feb. 27 in Waco with site and time still to be determined.