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Faith Christian’s season ends in PIAA Class A semifinals against Lourdes Regional

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HAMBURG >> Faith Christian Academy’s season came to an end Monday night with a 63-38 loss to Our Lady of Lourdes Regional at Hamburg Area High School in the PIAA Class A state semifinals.

Lourdes, which will face Kennedy Catholic in the championship game Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Giant Center in Hershey, took full control in the second quarter. The Red Raiders outscored the Lions, 16-4, to turn a five-point lead after the first quarter into a 17-point edge at halftime.

“Not really sure, don’t have an explanation,” Faith coach Tony DaCosta said. “We prepared like we normally do. We had good intentions, didn’t come to fruition on the floor.”

The Red Raiders started the second quarter the same way they started the first — with a 6-0 run. After a Lions basket, Lourdes rattled off five more to take a 23-9 lead.

“Their shots were falling,” Faith senior Darius Forney said of the second quarter. “We were turning the ball over. Simple as that. Give them shots, they make them. We don’t get shots.”

Thomas Schultz played a big role in Lourdes building its lead. He scored 12 points in the first half to go along with four assists and two rebounds. He finished just shy of a triple double with 17 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.

Faith couldn’t make up any ground in the third quarter, losing the frame 13-12 and trailing by 18, 41-23.

The fourth was more of the same. Lourdes led by 20 or more points for nearly the entire eight minutes.

Faith’s offense struggled for most of the game. They turned the ball over 12 times and made only nine field goals in the first three quarters against Lourdes’ 2-3 zone.

“Very surprising because we play the same kind of matchup,” DaCosta said. “It’s a matchup zone. We practice against it. It’s a replication of what we do. I’m not quite sure why we were trying to figure it out. We had situations I think we just didn’t attack. We got stagnant and we stood rather than be instinctive. You could see it. When you think and you’re not instinctive, that’s not basketball. You can’t win that way.”

“I don’t think we all really came prepared to play today,” Forney said. “We have to roll with the punches sometimes.

“(Twelve turnovers) wasn’t our gameplan. Coach always puts on the board 10 turnovers or less. Obviously we were above that limit. You fall short when you turn the ball over. We gave them extra possessions.”

The Lions lost Chuck Ervin early in the fourth quarter. He picked up his fifth foul and left the game, trailing 43-23, with 7:25 remaining. He finished with three points.

“That does not help because he’s our leading scorer,” DaCosta said. “He has an excellent motor. He creates a lot of opportunities for us. Not having him on the floor definitely hurt us. It put us in a bind. Certain players you can make up and you can still get something out of. Him, he’s a little bit of a different breed. When he’s not on the floor we can get by, but we had to get by too long of stretches without him and that hurt.”

Forney led the Lions with 10 points. Owen Bradford added nine and Landon Coyle six.

The loss brings an end to the season for the District 1 champions.

“Overall great season,” DaCosta said. “Our goal always is to get to the championship and that’s where our program is and anytime we don’t get there it’s a disappointment, as well as it should be. We were in the final four last year and wanted to take that next step to get to a championship, now unfortunately we fell short. Good season, just our expectations are a little bit different.”

“This was a special season with a special group of guys,” Forney said. “I had the time of my life this year. Would we like to go to Hershey? Yes, but that wasn’t God’s plan for us. We just take that on the chin and keep on moving.”

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