Cornelius — Out of the noise that 2A has certainly made this season, there has been one contender who has continuously sat in the shadow of Gervais, Salem Academy, Central Linn, and Lakeview: Faith Bible. Despite finishing only one point short of being selected #1 in 2A by the coaches, the Falcons have quietly continued to blow away with their performance, prompting plenty of inquiries from other 2A contenders on how real the Falcons are in competing for a state title. Let me assure you: Faith Bible is the most underappreciated contender in all of 2A….
Observing them for the first time since December 8th, the Falcons entered their second meeting with Vernonia putting their undefeated record against Oregon teams on the line. They had previously pulled out a 28-point comeback win against 1A #3 Country Christian and a close victory over a rising Nestucca program in conference play. In their previous meeting with the Loggers, they cruised to a 50-29 win on the road, containing Vernonia star Brooklynn Walters and keeping their distance throughout the game. Their program is very well oiled, with their chemistry and communication being put on full display all evening long.
The Falcons went off on a blazing start, finding themselves ahead 11-3 on Vernonia behind great defense that generated turnovers and easy buckets. Senior star Ashley Lohman scored the first nine points of the game for Faith Bible, forcing steals and putting herself in prime position to score off those turnovers. The next quarter was more of the same, with the Falcons firing off a 9-0 run that blew open a 20-7 advantage, which later became 26-10 late in the first half en route to a 26-16 halftime lead. In the locker room, the talk was simple: Keep doing what was successful, but don’t nap on the Loggers. Out of every team in 2A, the Falcons should know that better than anyone.
Things got interesting in the second half, as the Falcons found themselves a bit relaxed in the perimeter game, settling for the deep range attempt and not guarding the perimeter very tight. This opened the door for the Loggers to make a charge at Faith Bible, with Walters carrying the load to make the comeback and pull an upset. However, the effort fell short 45-40, but certainly a scare and reminder of how capable everyone is to beat them on any given night. Regardless, the Falcons are still the most underappreciated contender in the 2A race.
Lohman is the leader of the team, but she is complimented nicely by sisters Alexis Mallory and Adrienne Mallory, along with Taylor Masterson. This scoring depth makes them a unique threat in the landscape, as they can revert to multiple athletes to get them critical points. Compact this scoring depth with the fact that each of these girls are aggressive, disciplined defenders, and it is a combination that all should be well aware of. With only two games being within single digits this season against Oregon teams, they can and will run you into the floor with their chemistry, suffocating defense, and ability to shoot from just about anywhere on the fly. They are certainly Final Four bound and championship capable, with everything riding on their ability to play all four quarters at the same high level of effort, dedication, and execution. Make no mistake and don’t nap, Faith Bible is the most underappreciated contender in 2A and are fully capable of winning the state championship in 2022.