EAST ROCKHILL >> The Faith Christian boys basketball team used two big runs to jump out at defeat Plumstead Christian 61-33 Friday night.
Zeke Snowden played huge for the Lions all night, racking up 22 points and 11 rebounds for Faith. Snowden was the biggest player on the floor for either team and it showed.
“I just gotta take advantage of my size,” Snowden said. “It’s natural for me. I’m big, I’m long…I kind of have a good timing ability when shots come off, so I just put myself in a position to rebound and finish.”
“He’s been that way all year,” Faith head coach Tony DeCosta added about his center. “To me he’s been just excellent in terms of his maturation process…for him to come back this year and be explosive and be such a monster for was tremendous for us. I’m just happy for him.”
Snowden missed most of the 2014-15 season due to injury.
After falling down 7-2 in the first quarter, Faith Christian was able to end the first quarter on a 10-0 to take a 12-7 lead.
“A lot of times a team will press when they’re supposedly the favorite,” DeCosta said. “I said ‘Listen fellas, all we need to do is maintain our poise and composure and continue to play and do what we’re doing.”
The key play of the quarter was a steal and breakaway dunk by Chris Clark, which erupted an already excitable crowd.
Clark finished with 15 points for the Lions.
“He’s one of our better defenders and he’s very athletic,” DeCosta said about Clark. “He jumps out of the gym, as you can tell. When you play good defense and you get those opportunities he can definitely cash in.
Listen, if you want to see a little bit of a highlight he’s definitely a guy that can provide it for us.”
I felt over the long haul I thought our size, I thought our conditioning, I thought the things we do well like playing defense would eventually rear ourselves to help propel us to a win.
The Lions were able to establish some control in the second quarter, despite only winning the frame 14-10. Faith seemed to be setting their tempo and executing their game with ease on both sides of the floor.
Snowden was a monster in the first half for Faith, scoring 14 points and grabbing 7 rebounds in the first 16 minutes.
Charles Ervin proved a threat from deep all night for Faith, scoring 13 points on 3 threes.
Despite being down nine at the half, Cam Capeci kept Plumstead in the game as much as he could. The forward scored nine of the Panthers’ 17 points in the first half and hauled in 5 rebounds of his own.
Capeci finished with 12 points and 8 boards.
The third quarter saw another big run by Faith, this one 12-0, and this one fueled by the Lion defense. After allowing a three on the first possession of the quarter, Faith used active hands to force turnovers and get multiple run outs, which included another Clark slam. Their lead ballooned to 38-23 after three.
“Defense is not about athleticism. It’s about effort, it’s about heart, determination,” DeCosta said. “If you want to get a stop, you get a stop. The only thing I asked the guys to do was ‘play defense as hard as you can’ because that’s how I was raised.”
The Lions are set for round 2 of the District 1-A playoffs, which will take place Tuesday at Cheltenham.
“I’m ecstatic…while we hated to lose in the BAL playoffs it was a nice break,” DeCosta said. “It gave these guys a chance to get rested up and really get their hunger back…having a good summer and playing in some of the tournaments we played in prepared us well for this type of situation. I hope we can continue to move forward.”
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