Faith Christian girls use scoring record, prayers to overcome 'odds'

Despite having already defeated North Metro of Roseville twice this season, Faith Christian School Girls Basketball Coach Mike Sohre was a bit concerned when the Saints met North Metro for a third time Tuesday, Jan. 29, in Roseville.

“First of all, we had two closely-contested wins over them and this game was on their home court,” said Sohre. “Second, we were still pretty weary from the weekend tournament in Iowa. And, third, just before the bus left I received notice that reserves Lauren Curott and Anna McClain could not make the trip due to illness.

“Our only junior varsity girls available to bring along were Beth Childs and Emma Brown. Then, in our pre-game meeting, several of the starters told me they didn’t feel well and didn’t know how well they were going to play. I asked them if we should forfeit. They said no and we huddled together and prayed for strength and energy.”

After the players were announced, the team huddled once more and prayed for energy.

“Once the whistle blew the girls snapped into game mode and we took a quick six-point lead,” said Sohre.

North Metro led 22-21 at halftime but FCS held the Blazers to 16 second-half points and scored a 50-38 victory.

Sophomore center Ashley Johnson made 15 of 19 shots from the field and set a Faith Christian girls single-game scoring record with 31 points. She also had 11 rebounds.

“North Metro just could not stop Ashley in the low post area,” said Sohre. “We have been working hard the past month on getting the ball to our post players and putting them in favorably positions, as well as our post players developing good post moves.”

The old FCS single-game mark was 29 points which was shared by Christine Kessler, Jessica Linz and Brenda Vanderweyst.

Junior center Faith Britton added 10 points and 11 rebounds while senior forward Jamie Nelson had eight points.

Britton fouled out with 2:15 left in the game and Childs, an eighth-grader, took her place. It was the only FCS substitution in the game.

“Beth held her own and we were able to maintain our 12-point lead,” said Sohre. “During the game we had no clue that Ashley was closing in on the scoring record.

“All the girls wanted to do was win the game. They are so good at working together. I credit our team chemistry and prayer for this win.”

On Thursday, Jan. 31, the Saints topped St. Francis Baptist 51-26 at Faith Christian.

Faith Christian pulled away from a 20-15 halftime lead by outscoring St. Francis 31-11 in the second half.

Britton led the way with 17 points and 23 rebounds while Nelson had 13 points and six rebounds and Johnson totaled 11 points and nine rebounds. Senior guard Madde Brown had eight points and 10 assists.

“We’re 10-7 but we’re only 11 points from being 14-3,” said Sohre. “And, I don’t think we’ve played our best ball yet.”

Faith Christian is at Christian Life of Farmington Friday at 6:15 p.m.