SUNNYVALE — Two Tyler schools fell behind early and rallied hard late, but both the Grace Community girls and All Saints boys came up short against Grapevine Faith Christian in a pair of TAPPS 4A bi-district playoff games at Sunnyvale High School on Thursday.
The Trojans fell behind by as many as 18 before taking their only lead with 4:47 to play, but Faith Christian scored the game’s final 14 points to pull out a 66-53 victory. The Lions will play at Dallas Christian at 4 p.m. Saturday.
The Lady Cougars cut a 13-point deficit to five in the fourth quarter but couldn’t complete the rally as Faith Christian prevailed in the first game, 51-43. The Lady Lions play another Tyler team, top-ranked Bishop Gorman, at 2 p.m. Saturday from Haddad Gym in the area round.
The Lions started out hot and finished strong to escape the Trojans.
Faith Christian shot out to a 21-11 lead after one quarter thanks to 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. The Lions led 39-21 after starting the third quarter on a 9-1 run before the Trojans rallied.
After All Saints took a 53-52 lead, the Lions kept the Trojans off the scoreboard for the rest of the game to hold on.
“I think the culminating effect of trying to catch up and playing 94 feet may have wore us down at the end,” All Saints coach Eddie Francis said. “I really liked the shots we were getting. I thought we were getting good shots at the rim, shots we generally make, and we just didn’t make them in the fourth quarter.”
Zach Postema had 18 points and 10 rebounds for Faith Christian (19-16) while Carter Bras added 12 points and eight rebounds. Kyle Carter had 14 points, including two 3-pointers in the first quarter to spark the Lions early. Faith Christian hit 25 of 41 shots (61 percent).
“They shot it as well as any team we’ve played all year,” Francis said. “(They’re) very well coached, did a good job of taking us out of our offensive sets.”
Jaired Maddox scored All Saints’ first nine points and finished with a game-high 22, going 9 for 12 from the field. Aston Francis added 11 and Luke Lee scored seven of his nine in the third quarter, adding six rebounds and three steals for the Trojans (23-16), who shot 33 percent from the field.
“I thought Jaired Maddox played a great game for his first playoff game,” coach Francis said. “He really kept us in the game early.”
The Trojans closed to within 47-44 entering the fourth quarter. They tied the game at 51 with 6:02 left, the first time they didn’t trail since the game was 2-2. Maddox then gave the Trojans the lead to cap a 9-5 run.
“I’m very proud of my kids for coming back from a double-digit deficit and making a game of it,” said coach Francis, who returns a vast majority of his offense next year. “I told them we got a taste of the playoffs this year and next year we want several bites of it.
“I think there are better days ahead for All Saints basketball.”
Grace senior Catherine Rook scored 10 of her team-high 14 points in the fourth quarter to pull the Lady Cougars within striking distance before the Lady Lions fended off Grace in the final minute.
Madelyn Cole had 20 points, 12 rebounds, four steals and three blocks to power Faith Christian (17-17), helping her team to a 34-24 advantage on the glass. Summer Bennison added 19 points and hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the third quarter, giving the Lady Lions their biggest lead of the game, 38-25.
The Lady Cougars (12-18) came out inspired in the fourth quarter, quickly slicing the gap to 40-34, but could never get closer than five points.
“Our ladies, they work hard and they don’t quit,” Grace coach Robyn Welch said. “They continue until the end of the buzzer. They wanted it, continued to fight hard, unfortunately we got outmatched in size and we just couldn’t get it back but they never gave up ever.”
Rook went 4 for 5 in the fourth quarter and was the only Lady Cougar in double figures scoring for the game. Taylor Kingsley had eight points, seven rebounds and three steals and senior Rebekah Provines added six points, two blocks, two steals and three assists.
Grace took an early 5-1 advantage but never led after the first quarter as Cole and Baylee Barnes (seven points, seven rebounds, four steals) controlled the paint for Faith Christian while Bennison hit from outside.
“We just didn’t have the size, or the smarts or the rotation,” Welch said. “They fought hard.
“I just want to tell the girls I’m proud of them and next year we can only get better.”
Girls TAPPS 4A Bi-District Playoff
Grapevine Faith Christian 51, Grace Community 43
Grace 11 10 4 18 — 43
Faith Christian 13 13 12 13 — 51
GRACE — Rebekah Provines, 6; Bethany Kimmey, 7; Megan Raborar, 3; Catherine Rook, 14; Parker Daughtry, 5; Taylor Kingsley, 8. FG: 16-44. FT: 10-14.
FAITH CHRISTIAN — Madelyn Cole, 20; Alyx Hadley, 2; Summer Bennison, 19; Baylee Barnes, 7; Kendall Novak, 2. FG: 21-43. FT: 6-20.
THREE POINT GOALS — GC (1-4): Raborar. FC (3-9): Bennison (3).
RECORDS — Grace 12-18; Faith Christian 17-17.
NEXT UP — Faith Christian at Bishop Gorman, 2 p.m. Saturday, area playoff.
Boys TAPPS 4A Bi-District Playoff
Grapevine Faith Christian 66, All Saints 53
All Saints 11 9 24 9 — 53
Faith Christian 21 9 17 19 — 66
ALL SAINTS — Trevor Long, 2; Aston Francis, 11; Luke Lee, 9; Clayton Smith, 4; Spencer Ball, 5; Jaired Maddox, 22. FG: 20-60. FT: 10-14.
FAITH CHRISTIAN — Kyle Carter, 14; Riley Lynch, 8; Dalton Standish, 5; Tyler Dixon, 7; Bret Steinmann, 2; Zach Postema, 18; Carter Bras, 12. FG: 25-41. FT: 11-15.
THREE POINT GOALS — AS (3-16): Francis, Maddox (2). FC (5-12): Carter (2), Lynch (2), Standish.
RECORDS — All Saints 23-16; Faith Christian 19-16.
NEXT UP — Faith Christian at Dallas Christian, 4 p.m. Saturday, area playoff.