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Faith Academy girls basketball stays unbeaten

CAPTION: Faith Academy sophomore post Natalie Weems and the Lady Flames have won all three games they’ve played so far this season. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Faith Academy girls basketball team beat New Braunfels Christian 50-33 Nov. 10 in its first road game of the season.

“For it being our first road game, the girls played really well,” head coach Kat Canda said. “At this point, everyone is putting in really great minutes.”

The Lady Flames (3-0) defeated Austin Regents 52-16 Nov. 7 after beating Leander Founders Classical 48-34 Nov. 3 in the season opener.

Against New Braunfels Christian, they made it look easy, racing to a 21-13 lead after the first quarter that went to 30-21 at the half.

Both teams went through offensive woes in the third stanza though Faith led 35-27 as the game went into the final quarter.

The Lady Flames showed the form they began the game with in the final eight minutes, dropping in 15 points to cruise to the win.

“The girls played great; it got ugly in the 3rd quarter but we pulled through,” Canada said. “This game I was able to see a lot of things that we desperately need to work on.”

Seniors Ella Cozby and Morgan Weems each dropped in 12 points, while freshman Lilly Koziel added 8, and seniors Elleson Lehmberg and Alayna Steele and sophomore Natalie Weems each scored 6. Morgan Weems also had 8 rebounds while sister Natalie had 7. Cozby had 4 assists and Lehmberg had 3. Cozby had 6 steals and Koziel had 5.  

Canada credited her seniors for setting the example of playing through adversity of the third period.

“My two seniors, Elleson and Ella, helped the team stay together and keep calm, while Morgan had some big buckets to keep us in the game,” she said. “I think again we played as a unit, even when we were slightly crumbling.” 

Canada couldn’t have enjoyed the first week of the season more when her team won back-to-back home games in an impressive fashion.

“They’ve been working hard for each other,” she said. “They’ve been super positive and encouraging, even through the mistakes.”

Against Regents, Faith raced to a 16-0 lead that went to 31-8 at the half. The Lady Flames added 13 points in the third quarter for a 44-8 advantage headed into the final period.

Canada said she was especially pleased with what she saw from her players on the offensive end. The Lady Flames scored transition baskets and in half-court sets, they hit long-range jumpers and grabbed offensive rebounds. She saw an understanding of the playbook and the trust she said the players have developed in one another that only comes from playing together.

“We scored 52 points,” she said. “A lot of those points came from the transition. We work those transition points. We had a variety of players who were getting up and down the court and showed their ability to finish.”

Morgan Weems led with 17 points followed by Natalie Weems with 8, senior Audri Poage and Lehmberg each had 6, while Cozby added 5, senior Claire Poage and Steele each scored 3, and freshmen Sidney Solomon and Kinley Virdell each dropped in 2.

The coach liked that most every Lady Flame contributed to the scoring, which will make it tougher on defenses to know who to defend.

“We had different players stepping up and scoring and sharing the ball,” she said.

While she was pleased with the win against Founders Classical, Canada noted the game looked like a season opener. The Lady Flames didn’t have as much rhythm as she saw against Regents. But she commended her players’ efforts in ensuring they got the victory.

“We were definitely getting our kinks out,” she said. “My seniors are all seasoned, my freshmen are impressive. They came in with confidence, they acted like they had been there before. They were ready to go.”

Faith took a 10-5 lead after the first quarter that went to 14-10 at the half, and 32-19 in the third period.

Morgan Weems scored 13 points while Claire Poage and Steele each added 8, Lehmberg dropped in 6, Cozby and Solomon each added 5, Koziel scored 2, and Virdell had 1.

Canada also noted the team’s depth gives her the ability to insert different players and see the intensity stay at a high level.

“I’m able to sub anyone, and they go out and provide some great minutes,” she said. “I love that there’s not a drop off when I sub.” 

The Lady Flames welcome Austin St. Dominic Savio at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17, to The Fire Pit on the Faith campus.

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