They may be called the Contenders, but a poor shooting performance did little for Faith Baptist High's reputation as such Tuesday against Crossroads.
Faith Baptist shot a dismal 29% from the field (14 of 48) and lost, 68-56, in a Delphic League game at Faith Baptist.
The Contenders also shot holes in any chance they had of moving into a tie for first place in the league.
Faith Baptist (16-5 overall, 7-4 in league play) went into the game with a chance to move into a possible three-way tie for first with Crossroads (13-8, 9-2) and Brentwood (16-5, 9-2), which defeated Campbell Hall, 55-45, on Tuesday.
The Contenders must win their last game Thursday against Providence to assure themselves of a playoff spot.
"They were pressuring us a lot," said Faith Baptist center Jason Henderson, who scored a team-high 17 points. "We were trying, but we just weren't shooting well."
That was particularly true during the first quarter, when Faith Baptist converted only 1 of 16 shots.
"That first quarter just killed us," Faith Baptist Coach Dean Lobdell said. "We were getting the kind of shots we wanted, but we just weren't making them."
And while Faith Baptist could not hit anything in the opening period, Crossroads was hitting the Contenders where it hurt the most--on the scoreboard.
The Roadrunners, the defending Southern Section 1-A Division champions, took advantage of Faith Baptist's cold spell to jump out to a 16-0 lead at the outset.
Most of Crossroads' scoring was done by Michael Arnold, a 6-foot 1-inch senior point guard who scored 13 of his career-high 32 points in the first quarter. Last season Arnold scored 29 at Faith Baptist.
Arnold made 9 of 16 field-goal attempts and 13 of 15 free throws.
"I like it here, I guess," Arnold said. "It's just a matter of playing hard and playing to our potential."
Any potential chance Faith Baptist had of winning Tuesday was hurt not just by the Contenders' poor shooting but by the loss of point guard David Hairston, who suffered a sprained ankle in the first half. He played briefly in the third quarter, then sat out the rest of the game.
"That killed us," Lobdell said. "He just controls our whole game. David runs this team."