CHELTENHAM >> After a slow first half, Faith Christian came out on fire in the third quarter and flew past Sankofa Freedom 55-27 in its PIAA Class A second round game Thursday night.
“What I told ‘em is we’ve been here before,” Faith head coach Tony DaCosta said. “We did a much better job in the second half, at least offensively.”
After scoring 13 points in the first half, Faith put up 24 in the third quarter.
“I just wanted them to play a little bit freer,” DaCosta said. “People can say what they want but sometimes in these situations teams get tight and I thought we were a little tight offensively … I said, ‘listen, just play.’”
The Lions quickly came out in the third and hit three 3s to make a four-point lead 11. Two came from Landon Coyle, who led Faith with 16 points in the game. The junior also finished with five rebounds.
“He hasn’t been shooting as well as we would like throughout the course of the season but he’s always been capable of that,” DaCosta said. “Luckily we found him when he was hot. We got him the ball and he was making shots. That was a big ride for us.”
Miki Vitek got in on the act in the fourth quarter with a pair of threes and a layup to put the game away for good. Vitek finished with 12 points in the game.
The Lions hit seven 3s in the second half, after failing to drop one in the first.
To say the first half was a slog would be an understatement, as Faith Christian went into the locker room with a 13-9 lead. The teams combined for 22 total points and 19 total turnovers in the opening 16 minutes.
Faith was able to build it’s lead on Sankofa mistakes more than anything. In addition to 10 first-half turnovers.
Landon Coyle stood out in the first half for Faith, scoring five points and grabbing four rebounds.
Faith Christian (24-4) faces Saint John Neumann in the quarterfinals. It is the first time since 2012 Faith has reached the PIAA quarterfinals.