Flyers survive late charge from Faith Academy
St. Joseph and Faith Academy entered Tuesday's game knowing they had to shake off a lot of rust.
Well, most of them did. Flyers' guard Luke Wenske came out flying.
The junior scored 20 points, including three 3-pointers and the Flyers (1-0) overcame foul trouble in the second quarter to beat the Faith Academy Cougars (0-2) 53-49 at the Faith Academy gym on Tuesday.
"Getting everybody back in the rotation, back into basketball mode was a little bit tough, but I think we got it figured out," said St. Joseph coach Abraham Garcia.
The Flyers took the court for the first time this season with minimal practice time since St. Joseph's football season ended four days ago. Players along with coaches exchanged their football cleats for basketball sneakers
Cougars guard Geoffrey Graff led the way with 19 points, including a trio of 3-pointers. Jonathan Luck and Jacob Numez added 13 and 10 points, respectively.
"I told the guys it's early in the year, but putting in a full game would have been nice," said Faith Academy coach Matt McLeod. "We played well in the first half, we let up a little bit in the third quarter and St. Joseph took advantage of it."
St. Joseph threw out a starting lineup that included 6-foot-4 forward Cody Janak, 6-foot-5 center Aaron Kovar and Wenske, a 6-foot-1 guard. Conversly, Faith Academy's tallest players were Eli Espindola and Jacob Numez at 6-foot-2.
The size advantage helped as the Flyers out rebounded the Cougars 47-24 and had 32 points in the paint to Faith Academy's eight.
The Cougars found sucess in the second quarter once Janak picked up his third foul and missed most of the second frame.
Without the junior, the Cougars outscored the Flyers 19-9 and scored all eight of their points in the paint.
"Once Cody went out, we thought we had a good chance to put a little bit of pressure on them," McLeod said.
Even though the Cougars opened the game missing their first 13 shots, they found themselves offensively in the second quarter.
Espindola put back a Graff miss for the first Faith Academy field goal of the game midway three minutes into the second quarter.
The field goal sparked a 18-4 run for Faith Academy and gave the Cougars a six-point halftime lead.
"It didn't go in in the first quarter and in the next one it did," McLeod said. "We didn't change much."
The script flipped in the second half as a Wenske drive to the basket sparked a 19-4 St. Joseph run to begin the half and give the Flyers a 37-31 lead after the third quarter.
"We just had to come out and play with a little more intensity," Garcia said. "We were just going through the motions in the second quarter,. We kind of got in a little lull and we had to find that pep in our step."
Graff's first 3-pointer was Faith Academy's only field goal of the third quarter. That bucket came with 43 second remaining in the third.
GIRLS: SHINER 67, FAITH ACADEMY 32
Amanise Coleman led all scorers with 23 points and LaNeshia Hunt added 18 as Shiner (2-0) handed Faith Academy its second loss of the season, 67-32, at home.
Bianca Sanchez led the Lady Cougars with 11 points, and Courtne Grevey had nine points.
The Lady Cougars trailed 36-14 at the half. They play in their home tournament, the Lady Cougar Classic, beginning Thursday.