E.A. Sports Today

Ohatchee girls, Faith boys win

Faith boys show toughness; Ohatchee girls pull away in second half

Faith Christian coach Bradley Dawson appeals to his team's tough side during a time out Thursday night.

Faith Christian coach Bradley Dawson appeals to his team’s tough side during a time out Thursday night.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OHATCHEE — The Faith Christian Lions took a big step Thursday in their development under coach Bradley Dawson.

The Lions beat Ohatchee 56-44 in a game bogged down by 44 fouls, but it’s not so much that they won that was significant as the way they did it.

When the going got tough, the Lions got going and that’s something Dawson had been waiting to see.

“I think our biggest thing was when it got rough we kept our poise,” Dawson said. “When they wanted to try to be physical we did a good job of running our offense and getting to the free throw line. That was the biggest difference in the game: It got physical and we didn’t back down, but we attacked the basket.

“I think in the past we would have backed down or retaliated and we would’ve had a good brawl. When I took over I didn’t think we were tough enough; we have a history of backing down, I feel like. Our schedule was up early and we put them through a grind to see how tough we are. We’re in a really hard area and you’ve got to be mentally tough to handle it.

“I put them in a difficult spot this week on purpose to see how we could handle things and see if we could grow up. I think we made a big hurdle tonight to stay in the game and not let it turn into fisticuffs.”

A grind might be putting it mildly. The Lions have four games this week and none of them are easy. They lost a return game with Jefferson Christian Tuesday, battled to get through Ohatchee Thursday and play White Plains Friday and Spring Garden Saturday.

There were several points Thursday the Lions (2-1) could have wilted or digressed.

They led the game wire-to-wire, but in the second half the Indians (0-2) started knocking them around and on numerous occasions got within two. But the Lions refused to yield.

When point guard Jordan Griswald got challenged, he responded with better defense. It was 40-38 with 6:41 to play and had a one-and-one to tie, but missed the front end and the Lions went on a 8-0 run over the next 75 seconds to take final control.

“We just kept our heads about us,” Josiah McDaniel said. “We’re Faith Christian School. We represent something bigger than ourselves. We played as a team instead of individuals. Last year I definitely think we would’ve collapsed. It all goes back to mental toughness and playing as a team.”

As further testament to the mental toughness of both teams, Faith was 23 of 37 from the free throw line, while Ohatchee was 7 of 21 and missed at least a half dozen layups.

“We gave about 25 points up right there and we’re not a good enough team to do that,” Ohatchee coach Bryant Ginn said. “We let it get in our heads. We miss a free throw and now we’re all worried about what the next one’s gonna do instead of following with our shot and doing what we do in our routine. We weren’t mentally tough, but we’re working on that.”

McDaniel led Faith with 16 points. Logan Williamson added 13, his third straight game in double figures. Ben Glass led Ohatchee with 12 points — all on 3-pointers – and Bryan Jennings had 10 points and nine rebounds.

Ohatchee girls 54, Faith Christian 28

Joria Steger led a balanced Ohatchee attack with 10 points. Morgan Lee added nine points and seven rebounds. Faith’s Madison Stephens led all scorers with 19 points.

The game was close at halftime, but the Lady Indians dominated the second half, outscoring their visitors 31-12. Cheyenne McCarter scored all six of her points in the second half, one of five Ohatchee players with at least four in the half.

Ohatchee's Bryan Jennings (30) gets between Faith's Jordan Griswald (3) and Josiah McDaniel for one of his nine rebounds Thursday night.

Ohatchee’s Bryan Jennings (30) gets between Faith’s Jordan Griswald (3) and Josiah McDaniel for one of his nine rebounds Thursday night.

Ohatchee's Faith Walker (second from right) sends teammate Peyton Steinberg out on the break ahead of Faith's Elizabeth McCullough (L) and Emily Sills.

Ohatchee’s Faith Walker (second from right) sends teammate Peyton Steinberg out on the break ahead of Faith’s Elizabeth McCullough (L) and Emily Sills.

Faith Christian 56, Ohatchee 44

FAITH CHRISTIAN (56) — Ryan Crosby 0 6-8 6, Jordan Griswald 2 4-6 8, Jameson Adams 1 2-0 2, Logan Williamson 4 2-2 13, Caleb McCord 1 2-4 4, Jack Sills 1 0-0 2, Michael Kulick 1 0-0 3, Josiah McDaniel 4 7-9 16, Alex Taylor 0 2-4 2, Julien Key 0 0-2 2. Totals 14 23-37 56.

OHATCHEE (44) – Dylan Yates 0 0-1 0, Ben Glass 4 0-2 12, Micah Lee 1 3-6 6, Owen Hale 1 1-2 3, Austin Tucker 3 1-6 7, Christian Rouse 0 0-0 0, Bryan Jennings 4 2-4 10, C.J. Ray 3 0-0 6. Totals 16 7-21 44.

Faith Christian (2-1) 15 12 11 18 — 56
Ohatchee (0-2) 11 9 13 11 — 44

3-point goals: Faith 5 (Williamson 3, Kulick, McDaniel); Ohatchee 5 (Glass 4, Lee). Total fouls: Faith 21, Ohatchee 23. Fouled out: Tucker.

Ohatchee 54, Faith Christian 28

FAITH CHRISTIAN (28) – Emily Sills 1 0-2 2, Madison Stephens 6 7-8 19, Montana Huie 1 0-0 2, Cornelia Simpson 0 0-4 0, Regan Crosby 0 1-2 1, Elizabeth McCullough 0 0-0 0, Logan Boyd 1 0-0 3, Jasmyne Grace 0 1-4 1. Totals 9 9-20 28.

OHATCHEE (54) – Kacie Cooper 0 1-2 1, Courtney Poole 2 0-2 4, Hannah Howell 2 0-0 4, Morgan Lee 2 5-8 9, Ally McCoy 3 0-0 7, Peyton Steinberg 0 0-2 0, Jordan Dunaway 1 0-0 2, Mack Hanks 1 0-0 3, Madi Hanks 2 0-2 4, Joria Steger 5 0-1 10, Faith Walker 2 0-0 4, Cheyenne McCarter 3 0-2 6. Totals 23 6-19 54.

Faith Christian (1-2) 13 3 6 6 — 28
Ohatchee (1-1) 17 6 16 15 — 54

3-point goals: Faith 1 (Boyd); Ohatchee 2 (McCoy, Mac Hanks). Total fouls: Faith 16, Ohatchee 14. Fouled out: Crosby.

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