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The Faith Middle School girls basketball team dropped a heartbreaker Friday night, losing to Fort Middle School 42-41 in an overtime thriller.
The game was a back-and-forth affair, as neither team held a lead of more than six points at any time.
The girls are taking this one hard, so its starting to mean something to them, Faith coach Jeff Herron said. Even though its close to the end of the season, they can learn a lot from this. In sports, its not always about winning and losing; its about what you learn so you can take those things and apply them in the future, not only in sports, but in life.
For Faith, there were several missed opportunities that wound up being the difference in the game.
With 8 seconds left in overtime and both teams in the double bonus, Faiths Nofoaga Fanene was fouled, sending her to the free-throw line for two shots with the Lady Warriors trailing by one.
Fanene missed both free throws, however, allowing Fort to escape with the win.
After the game, Herron said that his teams lack of experience was a factor in the close loss.
Ive got 13 girls who have never played the game of basketball, and theyve come a long way in a short time, Herron said.
The Lady Warriors, who fell to 7-4 with the loss, also had a chance to win the game late in the fourth quarter. With the score tied at 37, Faith inbounded the ball with 40 seconds left.
After allowing about 15 seconds to run off the clock, Faiths Kevena Henry pulled up for a jump shot a few feet inside the 3-point line.
The shot was good, and appeared to give Faith a 39-37 lead. However, Herron called timeout just before the shot was released, and the officials waved off the basket.
Faith was unable to score after the timeout, sending the game into overtime.
I stood behind the referee and told him I was going to call timeout, Herron said. Normally, in those situations, we struggle because of our lack of experience, but she threw one up and it went in. I did what I was supposed to do as a coach, but that time it played against me.
Henry and Ladajia Jones led the way for Faith with seven points each, while Forts Darniqua Snead led all scorers with 13 points, including three of the Patriots five overtime points.
Fort overwhelms Warriors Not much went right for the Faith boys in their matchup with Fort Friday night as they fell, 70-38.
Faith, now 3-9, trailed 41-18 at halftime, and never mounted a serious comeback attempt.
Despite the tough loss, Faith head coach Will Davis said his players showed their resilience in the second half.
I thought some of our young guys played really hard, Davis said. Guys who dont always get a lot of minutes got some experience tonight, and they played hard. They played to the final whistle.
Early on, it appeared as if things might be going Faiths way, as Fort seemed intent on getting the ball inside to Devon Porter-Wilson.
Porter-Wilson picked up two quick fouls, however, leaving Fort without a key piece of its offense for the rest of the first half.
With Porter-Wilsons absence, Fort changed tactics, using a barrage of jump shots to build the huge lead heading into halftime.
Our plan was to slow down their inside game, Davis said. We did that, but all of a sudden, they just got hot from the outside, and we werent expecting that.
Marquel Fordham led Faith with 11 points, including the Warriors first 10 points of the game.
Midway through the second quarter, Fort switched its defense on Fordham, assigning a player to guard him no matter where he was on the court in an attempt to deny him the basketball.
The defensive tactic worked, as Fordham was unable to score in the second half.
Chad Duke and Tyreke Williams each had seven points for Faith, while Jalen Ken led Fort with 14 points.