JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
SAN MARCOS — Once the final horn sounded on a regional championship the Faith Academy of Marble Falls girls basketball team captured Feb. 18, the Lady Flames showed very little excitement.
“I think we knew coming into this game, we were going to be in big trouble if we didn’t beat them,” said senior guard Addison Floyd with a smile. “We are excited. We’ve all worked so hard.”
The Lady Flames got at 47-28 victory against District 4-4A foe Texas School for the Deaf.
Faith (34-4) now plays Houston Lutheran North at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at McMurry University, 1400 Sayles Blvd. in Abilene, in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools playoffs.
Faith worked especially hard this season as some Lady Flames had injuries to begin the year or shortly after play began.
Floyd noted those obstacles made the accomplishment of returning to the state tournament, the program’s eighth trip, that much more meaningful.
“We know God is on our side,” she said. “That was our goal. Last year, ‘The Streak’ got in our way. It made us not play our best. We did our job (this year). Now, we’re at state. That was our goal from the beginning.”
“The Streak” refers to the 120 consecutive district victories and 11 district titles by Faith.
While many of this year’s Lady Flames don’t have the state tournament experience players have had in the past, Floyd said the team will prepare like it always does.
“I’ll be tense,” she said. “I’m actually pretty calm. As a senior and team captain, we got this. Stay calm and keep going.”
One player who knows what it’s like to go to the state tournament is sophomore guard Paris Brinkley, who served as the team’s water girl for several years until last season. During those years, Brinkley watched older sisters, Bailey and Sierra, lead the Lady Flames to several state tournament appearances. Sierra was a member of the 2013-14 state championship squad.
“It feels awesome,” Paris Brinkley said. “i’m definitely excited. I wanted to have four rings on my hand. We want it to happen and get a ring.”
During the win against TSD, Faith built a 10-3 advantage after the first period that went to 21-11 at the half.
The Lady Flames began the third period with a 12-3 run for a 33-14 lead and were never threatened.
Allison Metzger led all Faith players with 18 points and 14 rebounds followed by Brinkley with 10 points, and Floyd with nine points and 11 assists.
Head coach Jerry English said getting to the state tournament is incredibly difficult, even when a team is oen of the best in the state.
He talked about one of his Pflugerville teams that was 36-0 but lost in a regional championship in double overtime and never went to the final four.
“I thought we had the best team in the state and didn’t go,” he said.
With a smile, he said he thought the Lady Flames’ latest regional championship “was one of the prettiest ugly games I ever saw. When I called a timeout in the last 45 seconds, I told them how proud I was of them. We have come a long way. We don’t have a lot of basketball moxie. I think we showed a warrior’s heart again.”