By Gary Larson
Mille Lacs County Times
Last week didn’t start out very well for the Faith Christian School girls basketball team. But, it ended on a good note.
Cambridge Christian School, the Saints’ biggest rival, trimmed Faith Christian School 61-33 Tuesday, Jan. 10, at FCS.
But, the Saints came back to win the consolation title Saturday at the Blazers Invitational, hosted by North Metro. Tournament games were played in Arden Hills at the North Heights Lutheran Church.
“We were looking forward to the Cambridge game, feeling that we would be able to compete with it this year,” said FCS Coach Mike Sohre. “They came in with an 11-1 record and, unfortunately for us, they were at the top of their game and we had one of our worst games of the season.
“It wasn’t for lack of effort on our part, it just seemed nothing went right. We couldn’t hit our open shots and, as the game went on, we became more and more frustrated. We ended with a season-high 34 turnovers.
“And, Cambridge had something to do with that.”
The Saints shot just 24 percent from the field while the Warriors shot 44 percent and had a 39-31 edge in rebounds.
Sophomore center Karli Wiek led FCS with eight points and nine rebounds. Senior guard Jadyn Grev sank a pair of three-point shots for six points.
Ellie Werlein paced Cambridge with 17 points.
Faith Christian lost its opener at the Blazer Invitational to First Baptist of Rosemount 48-35 on Friday.
“Rosemount had two dominating post players who really stopped out inside game,” said Sohre. “We were only down two points at halftime but then we hit a dry spell in the opening minutes of the second half and Rosemount was able to build on its lead.”
Grev made four of four three-point shots and led the Saints with 16 points while senior guard Mariah Roelofs scored 13 points and had six steals.
Rosemount went on to top South Metro 38-23 in the semifinals and North Metro 42-25 in the title game.
Because one team dropped out because several players were ill, FCS received a bye in the consolation semifinals before stopping FFAI (a school from Iowa) 35-31 Saturday for the consolation title.
“They had a great player in guard Candace Wilson, so we went with a box-and-one defense, with junior Madde Brown on Wilson,” said Sohre. “It worked pretty well as we held her to four points in the first half and 11 for the game.”
Junior center Jamie Nelson led FCS with 11 points while Roelofs and Grev had seven points each and Wiek had six points and seven rebounds.
Roelofs was named to the all-tournament team.
The Saints, 5-6, host South Metro Friday, Jan. 20, at 5:15 p.m., then are at Immanuel Lutheran of Mankato Saturday.