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Faith Christian sweeps RMA in first rivalry meeting

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Faith Christian’s Olivia Bowling, left, battles Rocky Mount Academy’s Barrett Edison and Ada Catherine Everette for the ball Friday during Faith Christian’s home game against Rocky Mount Academy at Faith Christian School.

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By PATRICK MASON
Sports Writer

Friday, January 11, 2019

The packed gymnasium at Faith Christian School for its rivalry night against visiting Rocky Mount Academy on Friday played right into Nyzae Lynch’s personality.

“I like it,” the Patriots guard said. “I play better when the crowd is loud and the gym is full of people.”

Lynch provided a scoring outburst and powered FCS to a 55-44 win over the Eagles in an NCISAA 2-A Coastal Conference game.

The junior also played himself into a starting role. Coach Rob Brothers told Lynch postgame that he had earned a spot in the starting rotation when the Patriots host another program named Faith Christian — this one from Ramseur — on Saturday.

It seemed that whenever the Patriots (11-4, 6-1) needed a basket, Lynch delivered. He scored a game-high 22 points off the bench and made five 3-pointers. During one stretch in the third quarter, Lynch knocked down three consecutive 3s which allowed FCS to break open the game.

“I felt really confident with every shot I took,” Lynch said. “I usually try to do a whole lot on the court, but today I was shooting the 3 more. If I wasn’t confident that I could make them I wouldn’t take the shot, but I had a feeling they would go in.”

While Lynch was scoring with ease, RMA (7-4, 4-2) couldn’t get anything to drop in the third quarter. The Eagles made just one shot in the third quarter and went 2 of 4 from the foul line.

“Way too many unforced turnovers,” RMA coach Scott Dunn said. “We got out-rebounded in the second half, we didn't hit the boards, and we didn’t execute the offense how we wanted.”

The lack of points unraveled a strong second quarter from RMA that cut its halftime deficit to 27-21. It was a mix of swarming defense that led to turnovers, and poor shooting that saw the Patriots struggle mightily on offense.

FCS’ first basket came with 28 seconds left in the quarter, and a 4-for-11 effort from the foul line didn’t help, either.

“We had a lot of metal lapses,” Lynch said of the second quarter. “At halftime we just regrouped and told ourselves we had to pick it up and play better.”

Girls’ basketball

Faith Christian 42, Rocky Mount Academy 30

Faith Christian snapped a two-game losing streak with the NCISAA 2-A Coastal Conference home win.

The Patriots (7-7, 3-4) held on to a slim 14-9 lead at halftime, but opened up the game in the final 10 minutes. RMA shot out of the break with a 3-0 run, and forced six FCS turnovers in the first five minutes of the quarter to draw within two points.

FCS was able to answer with a 6-0 run of its own and eventually took a 26-22 lead into the final quarter. It was here the Patriots took over by getting the ball inside and drawing fouls.

Yet despite shooting 6 of 12 from the foul line, the Patriots poured in 16 fourth-quarter points while the Eagles managed just two baskets and eight points.

Olivia Bowling led FCS with 13 points, eight of which came in the second half. Elsewhere, teammate Savannah Langley added 11 points and Logan Ayers scored nine in the win.

For RMA (7-5, 3-3), Deborah Kitchen was the lone player in double figures as she poured in 13 points behind a pair of 3-pointers. Barrett Edson and Isabel Smith each added five points in the loss.

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