Faith Christian School’s basketball teams traveled to Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa, last week to compete in the Midwest Invitational Shootout Tournament where the FCS girls placed fourth and the FCS boys placed fifth.
The eight-team tournament, which featured teams from Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin, began play Thursday, Jan. 24 and continued Friday and Saturday.
Both Faith Christian teams went 2-2.
The FCS girls lost to Tri-City Christian of Independence, Mo., 50-47 in the third-place game while the FCS boys topped Woodcrest Baptist of Fridley, Minn., 48-45 in the fifth-place game.
The teams were divided into two, four-team pools, with teams playing three games in their respective pool before entering the placement games Saturday.
Faith Christian’s girls defeated Heritage Christian of Karlstad, Minn., 46-39 in their opening game Jan. 25.
Senior forward/center Jamie Nelson scored 15 points and had nine rebounds while senior guard Madde Brown had 11 points, eight assists and three steals and sophomore center Ashley Johnson had 11 points and nine rebounds.
Faith Christian led 26-21 at halftime before Heritage rallied and took a 33-30 lead. Seven points from Johnson helped the Saints retake the lead.
“The game featured two evenly-matched teams,” said FCS Coach Mike Sohre. ““Heritage’s top player had 11 points in the first half, so we switched to a box-and-one defense and held her to two points in the second half.”
Faith Christian trimmed Plaza Heights Christian Academy of Blue Springs, Mo., 46-32 in their second game Jan. 24.
Nelson scored 16 points and had nine rebounds while Johnson totaled 14 points and had 12 rebounds and junior forward Faith Britton notched 17 rebounds while scoring eight points. Brown added four points and also had seven assists.
“It was a rare game in which we had a height advantage and we made use of that and finished with a 44-27 edge in rebounds,” said Sohre. “Plaza Heights’ pesky guard play helped it force 27 turnovers which kept it in the game until near the end.”
Union Grove Christian School of Union Grove, Wis., stopped FCS 40-33 in the final game of pool play Friday.
Union Grove led 23-13 at halftime but the Saints rallied and closed the margin to 35-33 with 1:30 left to play.
“Union Grove then went into a stall and we were forced to foul,” said Sohre. “And, they were able to make enough of their shots to pull away.”
Nelson had 10 points while Britton had nine points and 14 rebounds and Johnson had eight points and 16 rebounds.
“We felt we should’ve won but going just seven for 30 in the lane wasn’t good enough,” said Sohre.
The loss moved the Saints into the third-place game Saturday where it lost to Tri-City of Independence, Mo., 50-47.
“For the second game in a row some stellar guards had great games against us,” said Sohre. “The game went back and forth as our inside game really clicked and they countered with their guard play,” said Sohre.
Tri-City senior guard Miranda Pardun, who finished with 31 points, sank a pair of free throws to put the Crusaders on top 50-47 with six seconds remaining in the game. A three-point shot by FCS sophomore guard Hannah Thompson rattled off the rim as time expired.
Nelson, who was named to the all-tournament team, scored 15 points and had 13 rebounds while Johnson had 11 points and 12 rebounds and Britton had seven points and 18 rebounds. Britton fouled out with four minutes left and FCS holding a 42-39 lead.
“For the second game in a row we lost to a team we felt we could’ve defeated,” said Sohre. “But, the girls have great camaraderie and will bounce back.
“They know they can compete with good teams and with some more hard work and experience we will start winning those games.
“Our two wins were by a total of 21 points while our losses were by a total of 10 points. Coaches from the teams we lost to confided to me that their teams played their best game of the season against us.”
Owatonna (Minn.) Christian topped Union Grove to win the girls title.
The Saints, 9-6, host St. Francis tonight (Thursday) at 6 o’clock, then host Valley Christian Friday at 5:30.
The Faith Christian boys stopped Heritage Christian 51-42 in its opening game Jan. 24 as senior guard Paul Selin poured in 29 points and senior forward Micah Andrews had 15. Selin drilled six three-pointers and was 5-for-5 at the foul line while Andrews hauled off 16 rebounds and blocked seven shots.
Later in the day Jan. 24, Plaza Heights Christian nipped the Saints 62-61 in overtime. The game went into the extra session tied at 52-52.
Selin had another big scoring night as he totaled 26 points, seven in the overtime.
Early in the second half Selin sank a three-point shot to hit the 1,000-points career mark.
Andrews had 21 points, nine rebounds and four assists while senior center Cullen Curott blocked nine shots and guard Chris Johnson had eight assists.
Union Grove topped FCS 51-28 Friday behind guard Nick Emond’s 29 points, which included five three-pointers.
Union Grove led 26-20 at halftime before outscoring the Saints 19-6 in the third quarter to take a 45-26 edge into the fourth quarter. (The tournament used a four-quarters format rather than a two-halves format.)
Selin led the Saints with 14 points while Andrews scored 12. Andrews also blocked seven shots and had eight rebounds.
The Saints then moved to the fifth-place game Saturday where they topped Woodcrest Baptist 48-45.
Trailing 45-44 late in the fourth quarter, FCS moved ahead on a close-in basket by Andrews. Selin then sealed the win by making two pressure free throws.
Andrews scored 21 points while Selin had 10 points and 13 rebounds and junior forward Eli Tiegs scored seven points and had four rebounds. Johnson had six points and six assists.
Coach Don Andrews cited the defensive play of Tiegs and Wyatt Bechtle who shadowed standout Woodcrest guard Brett Cournoyer and held him to two points in the fourth quarter.
Selin totaled 79 points and 30 rebounds in the four games and was named to the all-tournament team. Micah Andrews finished with 69 points, 44 rebounds and 16 blocked shots.
Omaha (Neb.) Christian defeated Plaza Heights to win the boys title.
“We were pleased with our showing – we were just a basket away from reaching the third-place game,” said coach Andrews. “We feel we are making progress. It seems like our guys are beginning to adjust to some new roles and we’re beginning to click.”
FCS, which broke into the victory column at the tournament, hosts St. Francis tonight (Thursday) at 7:45, then hosts Valley Christian Friday at 7 o’clock.