ConquerorsÕ defense turns back Liberty in second half
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on January 4, 2008 3:27 PM
After watching 32 minutes of what he admitted to be frustrating basketball, Faith Christian boys basketball coach Jeff Stocks seemed more than relieved to have escaped Thursday night's meeting with Liberty-Durham with a victory.
The Conquerors (7-3 overall) were less than efficient early on, but shook off the rust from a lengthy layoff and gutted out a 54-45, non-conference win.
Faith managed just four first-quarter points in a period that saw neither team score until Jeremy Sandlin's layup nearly four minutes into the game. Liberty closed the quarter on a 9-2 run and outrebounded Faith 12-4.
"It's our first game back. We've been out three weeks," Stocks said. "We were very flat. We're a better team than we showed tonight, we were bad in every area. We didn't run the offense."
Phillip Hardy's 3-pointer pulled the Conquerors to within 16-14 with less than four minutes remaining in the half. Faith continued to chip away and Wilson Head connected from long distance, tying the game at 20-20.
Liberty answered with five unanswered points and led 25-22 at the break.
Using an array of different defenses in an attempt to slow down the Patriots, Faith went on a 7-0 run midway through the third quarter. Taylor Stocks accounted for all seven of those points, and his 3-pointer put the Conquerors on top 34-31.
"At times our defensive intensity is not very good," coach Stocks said. "We're working at it. We used numerous defenses tonight to try to throw them off just a little and I think a couple of those defenses did."
Liberty closed back to within 36-35 late in the quarter, but Head sank a pair of free throws and Eric Powell's jumper beat the buzzer. Faith entered the fourth quarter with a 40-35 lead.
The Patriots tried one last comeback and Joe Hall's 3-pointer trimmed the deficit to 44-41 before the Conquerors put the game away. Floars knocked down a pair of free throws that ignited a 7-2 run, which buried Liberty.
Balanced scoring helped stabilize a Conquerors' offense that struggled to find a rhythm early. Stocks finished with 16 points, Sandlin added 11, Head contributed eight and Floars had seven.
"Sometimes I think we need to make that extra pass and get some open shots," coach Stocks said. "Offensively, we got better and we shared the ball better."
Joe Hall paced Liberty with 17 points.
Faith Christian will host Liberty-Fayetteville tonight.
Liberty-Durham 9 16 10 10 -- 45
Faith Christian 4 18 18 14 -- 54
Adam Rose 3 1 2-5 11, Holden Coghill 2 1 0-2 7, Nathan Kokabun 2 0 4-4 8, Joe Hall 4 2 3-4 17, Josh Mizkle 1 0 0-0 2. TOTALS -- 12 4 9-15 45.
FAITH CHRISTIAN (7-3)
Wilson Head 0 2 2-2 8, Brad Floars 2 0 3-4 7, Austen Webber 3 0 0-0 6, Phillip Hardy 0 1 0-0 3, Eric Powell 1 0 1-2 3, Taylor Stocks 3 1 7-10 16, Jeremy Sandlin 4 0 3-4 11. TOTALS -- 13 4 16-22 54.
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