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Boys Hoops Fall Short at Home to Stratford 73-59

MACON, Ga. – Three FPD players scored in double figures but in the end it wasn’t enough as the Stratford Academy Eagles (11-3, 2-0 GHSA Reg. 7-A) bested the Vikings (3-6, 0-2 Reg. 7-A) on Tuesday night, Jan. 6 at the Middlebrooks Athletic Center in region play.

Stratford’s Quintez Cephus notched a game-high 41 points in the victory for the Eagles, who picked up their seventh consecutive win. Champ Dawson led the Vikings with 27 points.

“I thought we played really hard,” FPD head coach Michael Walton said. “I knew we would be nervous and have some jitters. Champ had a great game, but in the end it just wasn’t enough against a very talented team. Hats off to Stratford.”

FPD trailed 21-14 at the end of the first quarter and 42-31 at halftime.

Both squads came out sluggish in the third quarter, with the Eagles edging the Vikings 12-9 to send the game to the fourth quarter at 54-40 in favor of Stratford.

But the Vikings slowly chipped away in the final eight minutes, cutting the Eagle lead to seven twice. But both times, Cephus nailed clutch shots down the stretch to keep Stratford ahead for good.

“We let them get into a rhythm early,” Walton said. “Going into it, we knew we’d play zone and we didn’t get off to the best start defensively. They hit a couple of big time shots and that proved to be the difference.”

Maurice Gordon and Jacob Oates chipped in with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Stratford’s O’Showen Williams finished with 17 points.

“We had a couple of guys chip in and we were able to stay in the ball game,” Walton said.

But the expectation doesn’t change for Walton and the Vikings.

“I told them after the game that I was proud of them but that I wasn’t satisfied,” Walton said. “The expectation is to win. We battled and we will teach that we need to get better at the little things to become a better team.”

FPD will look to rebound on Friday night, traveling across town to Mt. de Sales for its first game against the Cavaliers (7-5, 1-1) in nearly five years for another Region-7A battle.

The Cavs knocked off Twiggs County on Tuesday night 59-39.

The First Presbyterian Day School Department of Athletics strives to build the student athlete both in the playing arena and the classroom while upholding the school’s mission statement to educate and equip students to change the world for God’s glory. For more information, visit www.fpdvikings.com and sign up for up-to-the-minute news and scores by following the Vikings on Twitter at @FPDVikingSports.

BOX SCORE:

STRATFORD 73, FPD 59

SEA 21-21-12-19 — 73
FPD 14-17-9-19 — 59

Stratford: Quintez Cephus 41, O’Showen Williams 17, Nate Brooks 10, Chandler Brooks 3, Cooper Hartley 2.

FPD: Champ Dawson 27, Maurice Gordon 13, Jacob Oates 10, Titus Moore 10, Luke Ford 2.

Records: FPD 3-6, 0-2 Reg. 7A; Stratford 10-3, 2-0.

Next: FPD at Mt. de Sales, 8 p.m., Friday.