January 12, 2011 | 08:35 AM
Delavan — One good thing about basketball is that a single game can turn around a season. That may be the case for the young Faith Christian girls basketball squad.
After a rough start to the season including some nail biters, the Lady Eagles finally got over the hump.
On Tuesday, Jan. 4, the Eagles played a complete game, leading throughout in a 39-19 blowout win.
Faith coach Dick Ackatz said the key to victory was simple — defense.
"We won every quarter," he said. "We played great, aggressive defense. We forced a lot of turnovers and were able to knock down wide open shots. The girls showed confidence in their shooting and didn't hesitate."
With the win, the Lady Eagles improved to 1-5 overall and 1-2 in the Indian Trails Conference.
Suzanne Knudtson rose to the occasion for the Eagles, leading the way with 13 points.
"Suzanne shot the ball really well," Ackatz said. "She made a couple early shots and really set the tone for us."
Faith led 18-10 at halftime and never looked back. The defense held WSD to single digits in every quarter.
Freshman McKenzie Skrede added 10 points for Faith. Ackatz said gaining an early lead helped his girls have confidence. They had been playing from behind all season.
"We were nice and relaxed because we were ahead," he said. "It made a big difference."
Ackatz added that although his girls have a height disadvantage, he is enjoying working hard with his team this season.
"I'm really liking how the girls are focused and practicing hard every time," he said. "Our confidence on offense is improving. We have lost some close games, but we are playing well. Our defense has always been good."
Freshman Alida Knudtson added eight points for the Eagles.
This coming Thursday, Faith will take on Southwestern Wisconsin Christian Homeschool Athletics.
Ackatz is looking forward to a close game.
Mountaintop Christian 27, Faith Christian 23
On Friday, the Eagles continued their solid play in Horicon but came out on the losing end in a closely contested battle.
Faith was down by one heading into the fourth quarter, but a 9-6 period helped Mountaintop secure the victory.
Ackatz said his girls played well, but missed free throws were a deciding factor in the loss.
Junior Abby Keizer led the Eagles with nine points, including a clutch three-pointer late in the game. The game was knotted 14-14 at halftime.
Danielle Pettygrove and Suzanne Knudtson each had five points for Faith.