Faith Christian shows plenty of Heart in District 1-A win

SELLERSVILLE — Sometimes, the first round of the district tournament can be a guessing game.

That wasn’t the case for the Faith Christian girls basketball team Friday. They already owned a win over their opponent, Sacred Heart.

It wasn’t the prettiest effort, but the Lions picked up a second win, 40-21 in the quarterfinals of the District 1-A Tournament.

“It wasn’t a high-scoring game but we did alright defensively,’ Faith coach David Forker said. “I thought our offensive execution could have been better but I think I’ll always say that. We need to execute better offensively but our defense was pretty good.’

The first half saw a lot of shots attempted, but not a lot of points to show for it. Sacred Heart shot 1-of-10 in the first quarter while Faith went 3-of-11.

The Lions did get to the line six times in the first quarter and had 12 attempts from the foul line overall at intermission. Faith closed the first quarter on an 8-0 run to take a 12-4 lead into the second quarter.

Lions guard Monica Ervin took a while to get going, but she did close the half with four points on two scores close to the rim. Ashley Parylak and Ashley Forker picked up the scoring load, Parylak hitting for six in the first quarter.

Faith had three scorers, Ervin, Forker and Liz Hoffman, hit eight points while Parylak had six.

“We knew they could beat our press, so we tried something different there,’ Ervin said. “They’re pretty fast and they have a couple of good shooters.’

Forker had six at the half, but she had also dished four assists as the Lions held a 21-10 lead at the break.

While Faith was up at half, they were fortunate it wasn’t much closer. Heart struggled around the rim and while the teams tied 20-20 on rebounds at half, Faith had four dead ball rebounds.

The Lions got a lift off the bench from Kirah Brown, who disrupted Heart’s offense and was seemingly at the bottom of every scrap for a loose ball.

Ervin netted the first points of the second half on a tough drive with 6:05 left in the third quarter. From there, it was over two minutes before the next score, a Hoffman lay-up after Ervin had poked the ball loose and sprung Hoffman up the floor.

Hoffman had a strong third quarter, scoring two more buckets off nice cuts and chalking up an assist. On the second, Hoffman rolled to the rim, caught a pass from Forker and finished through contact, though she couldn’t finish the three-point play.

“The way I was playing in the first half was just not that good,’ Hoffman said. “I relied on my teammates to hold it together for me. But Ashley Forker gave me those two nice passes.’

Getting that fast break open lay-up was the key for Hoffman.

“That always helps me a lot,’ the forward said.

With 1:18 left in the quarter, a mishap resulted in a water cooler getting spilled on the court, resulting in a roughly 10-minute cleanup effort. The delay didn’t hamper Faith, who scored four more points while holding Heart scoreless in a 12-0 quarter.

Hoffman continued her strong second half with the first bucket of the fourth quarter and capped it with a kick-out assist to Brown for a 3-pointer.

Jessica McTaggert broke a 10:23 scorleless streak for Heart with 6:36 left in the game when she converted a three-point play. But by then, Faith was up 35-13 and after Brown’s 3-pointer a few minutes later made it 40-18, both teams went to their benches to finish it out.

Faith owned the glass in the second half with four players pulling down at least six rebounds in the game.

The Lions played better in the second half, but there wasn’t any huge adjustment behind it.

“We just told them to relax and just execute,’ David Forker said. “We get in fast forward sometimes or we have mismatches and advantages and we just try to force it instead of just letting the offense run a little bit.’

Ervin said the team has definitely grown this year after not really knowing what to expect at the start of the season. With a win over Phil-Mont and three over Jenkintown, Faith has shown it can make noise in the district tournament.

“I think we haven’t played our best basketball yet,’ Hoffman said.

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