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Faith Christian pulls away from Plumstead Christian, heads to PIAA Class A semifinals

ROYERSFORD >> By the third quarter, Faith Christian was fast-breaking its way to the state semifinals.

“Once I get the rebound, I look to see if my wings are running, like Darius (Forney) or Landon (Coyle). I know when I drive and attack, everybody wants to look at me because they know I can get to the basket very well,” said the Lions’ Charles Ervin, who keyed a pivotal third-quarter burst, “so I always kick it back to Landon to shoot some threes and they were falling.

“The layups were just there and we were just taking them.”

Ervin found Josh Forker in transition, then later set up Coyle. And when Ervin came up with a steal and took it all the way in for a dunk, what was once a back-and-forth contest turned into a runaway for Faith, on its way to a 82-59 victory over Plumstead Christian in the PIAA-A State Quarterfinals at Spring-Ford High School.

“Playing a team a third time is hard,” said Ervin, who helped lead the District One Champs to their third win of the season over Plumstead. “But we know we’re a different breed than we were last year (when we reached the state semis). We know we’re gonna be a bunch of dogs and go out there and play Faith basketball.”

The win advances Faith to Tuesday’s semifinals against Lourdes Regional.

Ervin finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Point guard Darius Forney directed a balanced attack that saw seven players contribute eight or more points.

“I just wanted to have a good game for my teammates,” said Forney, who had a team-high 14 points. “I just wanted to do everything I could to get this win.”

Despite Plumstead shooting 7-of-11 from three-point range, balanced Faith took a 41-34 lead into the half.

After the lead shifted in the early going, the Lions went ahead for good on a three by Coyle. Moments later Ervin found Forney on the fast break to boost the margin to 17-13.

Plumstead again answered from deep, a three by Kyle Elton (game-high 20 pts), but Forney answered at the other end in the final seconds of the first quarter, dropping in a soft runner down the lane to make it 19-16 after one.

Ervin hit a three early in the second quarter to keep Faith going, but Plumstead stayed close with its three-point shooting, Elton and Luke Brautigam each hitting.

Faith kept control though, and key contributions by reserves Isaiah Robinson, Josh Forker, David Forscht and Owen Bradford helped to provide the 41-34 edge at the half.

Ervin and the fast break blew it open in the third.

“We all shed tears right here in this hallway,” Forney remembered of last year’s loss to Girard College in the semis at Spring-Ford. “So we wanted to create good memories instead of bad ones.”




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