Men's Basketball Season Review

Men's Basketball Season Review

The 2020 Faith men's basketball season was like no other. After two seasons in which the Eagle men struggled to win games, the 2019-2020 team got the program back on track. The Eagles finished the regular season at 12-11 and entered the postseason as the #4 seed in the conference tournament. Entering with confidence, the Eagles began to put together an unbelievable run through the postseason. An opening round victory over host Ozark Christian college was followed up by two exciting come from behind victories for the Eagles. In the semifinal, the Eagles defeated #1 seed Manhattan Christian by two off of a Kalab Sidlinger three with seconds left in the game. Faith then earned a one point win off of a Nathan Keck free throw with 1.1 seconds remaining in the championship to cap off an amazing three game run that saw the Eagles take the Midwest Christian College Conference tournament championship. During the tournament, freshman Nathan Keck (2nd team) and senior Tanner Van Beek (honorable mention) were recognized as All-Conference recipients and the team received the conference sportsmanship award.

The comeback kids weren't done, though. The following week the Eagles entered the regional tournament as the #1 seed and faced off in the semifinals against Maranatha Baptist University. Things looked bleak for the Eagles for the first 30 minutes of the game, as the Eagles trailed by 21 with just over 10 minutes to play. As they had the week before, the Eagles didn't give up, mounting a ferocious comeback in the final 10 minutes of regulation to force an overtime. The overtime was all Eagles, as they jumped up early and didn't look back, winning 98-88 to advance to the regional championship. 

Faith entered the championship attempting to do what no other Eagle men's basketball team had done - win a regional championship. The Eagles faced host Trinity Bible in the final, and things looked eerily similar to the semi's, with Faith trailing through the first 30 minutes by 9. In a near mirror image of the day before, the Eagles mounted another exciting comeback, this time only needing regulation to earn the 74-64 victory and secure the programs first ever regional championship. As with the conference tournament, several Eagle team members received recognition. Keck finished 3 votes shy of the region MVP selection, earning first team honors. Van Beek received second team honors, and freshman Jayce Goergen and senior Chase Clark received honorable mention. Coach Brian Fincham was selected as the Region Coach of the Year.

The win advanced the Eagles to the NCCAA II National Championship in Joplin, MO. The Eagles traveled to Joplin and spent the first part of championship week practicing, participating in the Samaritan's Feet Christian service project, and attending the All-American banquet. At the banquet, Nathan Keck was selected as a second team All-American and coach Brian Fincham was selected as the National Coach of the Year. On Thursday, the Eagles were in the locker room minutes from tip off when word was received that the championship was cancelled due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus throughout the world. While a disappointing and anticlimactic end to the season, the Eagles were still thankful for the way the Lord blessed and the exciting experience He allowed them to have during the final month of the season. 

The Eagles finished the year with an overall record of 17-11, more than doubling their win total from the previous two seasons combined. The Eagle's on the court success can be attributed to three things - a willingness to do their best to outwork their opponents, a relentless belief in defensive and offensive rebounding, and a commitment to team defense. The team finished the year ranked in the top 5 in overall field goal percentage, three-point percentage, and offensive and defensive rebounding.

 

 

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