By Dave Wagner
Caleb Richards had some tough shooting luck in Faith Triumphant’s season opener at Hereford Community Christian, so he stopped shooting and finished with just six points.
Thursday at the FTCS gym, Richards’ luck against the Warriors was considerably better — he poured in a season-best 30 points to lift the Conquerors to a 71-50 victory.
“It was probably my best game this year,” said Richards, a 6-foot-2 junior. “A lot of the shots I took weren’t that good, but they just happened to go in.”
Faith Triumphant (5-0) struggled a bit early, but rode 10 first-quarter points from Richards to a 15-9 lead. Then guard Luis McCain opened fire in the second period, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and scoring 10 of his 20 points as the Conquerors opened a 23-point halftime bulge.
“We’re looking to continue to play better,” FTCS boys coach Shawn Kelly said. “That’s the thing — we know we haven’t tapped our full ability yet.”
The Warriors began to get untracked in the second half, outscoring FTCS 35-33 over the final two periods.
“You can never underestimate them,” Richards said. “At the beginning of the second half, they were hitting 3s all over. When you start sitting back on them, they can score.”
The Conquerors expect to be tested on Monday when they travel to Elida for a 6 p.m. rematch against the Tigers, whom they beat 66-46 at home in November.
“They were tough the first time,” said Richards, whose career high was 36 points against Community Christian as a freshman. “We’re going to need to step it up.”
Kelly also expects the Tigers to come out tougher in the rematch.
“It’s nice to win, but you like to be tested,” Kelly said. “And I’m sure Elida will certainly do that.”
Faith Triumphant 71, Hereford Comm. Christian 50
Hereford Community Christian — Joe Miller 2, Steven Ramirez 3, Nathan Louder 8,m Jon Jones 13, Brook Brookhart 9, Roger gonzales 15. Totals 20 4-7 50.
Faith Triumphant (5-0) — Caleb Richards 30, Luis McCain 20, Tim Smith 7, Eric Cathey 3, Seth Pearson 9, Luke Jones 2. Totals 32 2-5 71.
Community Christian 9 6 22 13 — 50
Faith Triumphant 15 23 18 15 — 71
3-pointers — Hereford Community Christian (6): Gonzales 3, Jo. Jones 2, Ramirez. Faith Triumphant (5): McCain 4, Cathey 1.