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Faith Christian Academy drops game to Phil-Mont

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Last season was a tough act to follow.

But this year’s Faith Christian boys basketball team is firmly invested in the future.

The Lions fell to host Phil-Mont Christian Academy, 63-39, in a Bicentennial Athletic League contest on Tuesday night.

Faith struggled to get going, netting just five points in the first quarter, but picked up steam as the game wore on.

“Our effort just wasn’t there for this one and it showed,” said Paul Leisner, a junior guard who had a team-high six rebounds in the game.

Leisner and Mason Paul led the Lions with seven points each, while Tyler Forscht, Levi Nice and Landon Heller each contributed six points. Ky Hughes and Micah Shank had three points apiece, and Carson Landis chipped in a point to round out the scoring for Faith.

Faith has a young team, with just one senior. Two sophomores are starters, and there are four juniors on the roster.

“I stepped up this year,” said Leisner, who also plays soccer for the Lions. “This is my first year starting. I learned a lot last year just by watching and it’s fun to have a bigger role this year.

“Last year the team went really far. This year we’ve had our ups and downs, but we just try to work hard every day and take it one game at a time. I’m excited to see how we grow as a team this year. It really is like a family.”

The Lions were the District One Class A champions last season, reaching the second round of the state tournament. This year, Faith bumped up to Class 2A.

“There’s a lot of tougher teams and more competition for sure,” said Forscht, a junior who plays shooting guard. “We’re working this year to get better for next year.

“Our goal is to get better and keep playing as hard as we can. This is a building year for us, but we still want to win so no matter what we’re going to come in and play as hard as we can. Tonight just wasn’t a good effort from us. We have to learn from this.

“We’ve been improving as the year has gone on. I hope we can make it to districts but if not, we’ll have that fight for next year.”

Forscht was a starter last season.

“I have more of a leadership role this year,” he said. “Last year I started but I wasn’t a leader. There were seniors above me. This year, we have a pretty young team so I’ve had to take on that role and it’s been fun.”

The Lions return to action on Friday, playing host to MaST Community Charter in a Bicentennial contest at 7 p.m.

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