February 01, 2012 | 07:40 AMWALWORTH TOWNSHIP — Nothing has been able to stop the Faith Christian boys basketball team this season.
Not opponents. Not injuries. Not even illness has derailed the Eagles.
Last week was another example of the squad's resiliency.
Faith downed three more teams to improve to 13-0 overall and 6-0 in the Indian Trails Blue Conference. And the Highway 67 boys did it with two starters missing considerable time with flu-like symptoms. Starting center Ben Sass, a 6-foot-5 powerhouse, even had to be taken to the emergency room at one point during his illness. Sass even lost as much as 20 pounds in the process.
Despite not being at full strength, the Eagles took care of business at home against University Lake School.
The Eagles built a 27-10 halftime lead en route to a 49-17 pounding of their conference rivals.
"We were ready to go," Faith coach Brian Pollard said. "We clamped down on defense and took control. We only gave up seven baskets."
Adam Montsma, the area's leading scorer at 20.8 points per game, led the charge Friday with 16 points. His twin brother, Alex, added 14. The brothers combined for five 3-pointers.
The Eagles held the Lakers to single digits in all four quarters.
Sass, who missed a week of school the previous week, played a mere 12 minutes, and starting point guard Jared Mulder, still recovering from the flu, was held to three points.
Sophomore Joe Ingersoll added 10 points. Pollard was impressed with the play of the Montsmas and Ingersoll.
"All three played good games," Pollard said. "Joe did a great job on the boards and defensively. He had some really nice moves inside."
Faith travels to Grayslake, Ill. Thursday to battle Westlake Christian, Ill.
Faith Christian 57, Trinity Academy 28
Playing at home against a regional rival, the Montsmas came out of the gates on fire. They were the only two Eagles to score in the first quarter. Adam scored 14 points in the first period, and Alex added six to build a 20-6 lead.
Faith went up 38-13 by halftime. For the game, the boys knocked down eight triples, led by Alex Montsma's four.
Sass missed the game, and Mulder only played two quarters.
Faith Christian 63, SWCHA 59
In the wildest game of the week, Faith had to rely on its reserves at home Jan. 24. But it was Adam Montsma who nearly single-handedly won it for Faith.
Faith clung to a two-point lead with less than a minute on the clock. A SWCHA player passed up a wide-open 3-pointer and drove the lane. He lost the ball, and Adam Montsma grabbed it for a steal.
With 15 seconds left, Adam Montsma drained two free throws to put the game out of reach at 63-59.
Adam Montsma finished with a career-high 39 points including 14 of 15 from the foul line. He flashed to the high post on many possessions and was able to drive to the hoop and either make layups or get to the line. He finished with 12 field goals including one 3-pointer.
"Adam did a great job," Pollard said. "He found the weakness of the defense and kept exploiting it. We figured out a way to win. It was our closest game this year."
Alex Montsma played point guard with Mulder out most of the game. Also, Sass did not play.
Jake Alldredge and Brandon Valadez started in place of Sass and Mulder.
Faith led, 45-37, after three quarters, but SWCHA came back in the fourth. Caleb Heinritz led the visitors with 22 points.
Ingersoll added 13 points for Faith.