LAFAYETTE -- After a stretch of five straight losses, four of which came against ranked opponents, one might have expected the Peak to Peak boys basketball team to finally face some "cupcakes" down stretch and collect a few easy wins.
Clearly that isn't the case in the when playing in the ultra-competitive 3A Metro League.
The Pumas (9-8, 1-6) suffered their sixth consecutive loss Wednesday night, falling to conference foe Faith Christian 62-48 at home. Senior Drew Otey led Peak to Peak in scoring with 19 points, including 14 in the second half, but was unable to rally his squad back from a large first-half deficit.
Faith Christian (8-9, 4-3), playing without leading-scorer Spencer Bazz due to injury, came out firing on all cylinders and ran off 10 straight points to open play. It wasn't until senior Sam Fangman drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:15 remaining in the first quarter that the Pumas were able to get on the board.
However, the bucket did little to slow the Eagles' relentless attack on the basket. FCHS ran off six more points in a row soon after, pushing the lead to 16-5. Led by senior guard Alex Albright, who finished the game with 18 points, the Eagles seemed to get inside at will, scoring 14 of their first 16 points in the key. Those inside looks proved to be deadly for Peak to Peak, which ultimately surrendered 40 of Faith's 62 points in the paint.
"They were definitely stronger than us," Otey said. "They also moved the ball really well and played as a team. There was maybe a little bit of a lack of concentration on our part, letting them get behind us, but I think that is something that can be fixed."
While Peak to Peak struggled with keeping Faith's offense outside, it faced just as many difficulties in penetrating the Eagles' defense on the other end of the floor. The Pumas were able to muster just seven 2-pointers on the night, matching the number of 3s they hit.
Senior captain and leading scorer Max Clark played while battling an ankle injury sustained in Tuesday's practice and was unable to find his generally-reliable shot from distance. Clark, who came into the game averaging nearly 20 points per contest, was held scoreless until he hit one of two free throws with 3:52 remaining in the first half. He finished with just one field goal and five points.
"(Clark)'s a great player, and you have to start there when you look at them," Faith Christian coach Andrew Hasz said. "I'm sure it was a tougher night for him and he'll have a lot better nights, but I thought our guys did what we asked them to do."
Trailing 36-18 to begin the second half, the Pumas attempted to increase their defensive pressure in the hopes of forcing the Eagles into turnovers. Utilizing both half and full-court presses, Peak to Peak did succeed in securing several steals and eventually cut the lead to 12 with 4:25 remaining in the third following an Otey jumper from 18 feet out.
But Faith provided an answer, scoring the next five points to regain control. The Pumas made several more pushes throughout the remainder of the night, though they were never able to come within a dozen as the Eagles sank their free throws down the stretch to put the game away.
Peak to Peak will look to put an end to its losing streak Tuesday when it hosts non-conference opponent Ridgeview. The Pumas have only one game on their schedule following that prior to the district tournament.
"This is the Metro League and there are eight teams that can play," Peak to Peak head coach Tony Peters said. "The next (league game) we have against Manual and even though they might not have won a game, they can still play and we have to be ready."
Faith Christian 62, Peak to Peak 48
At Peak to Peak HS
PEAK TO PEAK (9-8, 1-6)
Griffith 0 0-2 0, Howard 0 0-0 0, Goedde 0 0-0 0, Braswell 1 2-2 4, Otey 7 0-0 19, Clark 1 3-5 5, Fangman 4 6-6 16, Powers 1 1-2 3, Ward 0 1-2 1. Totals 14 13-19 48.
FAITH CHRISTIAN (8-9, 4-3)
Albright 8 2-4 18, Cambier 0 1-2 1, Hawkins 2 10-10 14, Noone 1 0-0 3, Harkness 9 0-0 18, Finch 4 0-2 8. Totals 24 13-18 62.
Score by quarters:
Peak to Peak 8 10 16 14 -- 48
Faith Christian 16 20 12 14 -- 62
3-point field goals -- Peak to Peak (7): Otey 5, Fangman 2; Faith Christian (1): None. Total fouls -- Peak to Peak 15, Faith Christian 14. Fouled out -- None. Technical fouls -- None.