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Strong Second Half Sends FPD Vikings Past Schley County Wildcats 68-42

MACON, Ga. – FPD head boys basketball coach Michael Walton was a little concerned entering into Friday’s non-region Class-A contest against Schley County.

His Vikings were just coming off midterm exams and nearly every game the squad had won has been determined in the final minutes.

But not on Friday night, Dec. 18, as the Vikings (5-1) clamped down in the second half to outscore the Schley County Wildcats 39-18 for a 68-42 victory before the Christmas break at the Middlebrooks Athletic Center.

FPD is now 6-0 all-time against Schley County since joining the GHSA in 2010-11.

“This was an all-around team win,” Walton said. “And it started on the defensive end for our guys. I still think we aren’t shooting the ball well, but we have guys that aren’t afraid to play hard-nosed defense. That’s a sign of a good basketball team.”

It certainly was on Friday night.

FPD led 29-24 at halftime, but came out of the locker room on fire in the third quarter. The Vikings outscored the Wildcats 26-8 led by a charge of Maurice Gordon and Champ Dawson. Together, the duo scored half of FPD’s points in the third frame.

“Those two have been playing with each other long enough to know how to read and react to each other,” Walton said. “And that’s fun to see. But it was also fun to see how every guy that got in the game tonight made some sort of positive impact. That’s what we need moving forward this season.”

One of those positives was not only having Gordon and Dawson leading the way in scoring with 15 and 12, respectively, but also having guys contribute off the bench.

FPD’s bench outscored the Schley pine by a score of 41-11.

The Vikings also grabbed 20 steals, totaled 12 assists and corralled 24 rebounds, 15 of which came off the defensive glass.

Altogether, 10 different players scored at least one point for the Vikings in the win.

“It’s fun to see the guys play like this,” Walton said “They don’t care who gets the credit and they aren’t playing selfish. They just want to win basketball games and will do whatever it takes to get it done.”

“We did that tonight by playing great defense for the entire 32 minutes of the game,” Walton added.

Henry Middlebrooks totaled eight points on the night, while Titus Moore and Reggie Gantt finished with seven points each. Gantt also hauled in 10 rebounds.

“What we’ve done so far is great,” Walton said. “Now we just have to keep getting better every day. That’s what will put us over the edge I think.”

The Vikings return to the court after the Christmas holiday, playing in the Bank of Gray Classic on Monday, Dec. 28 – Wednesday, Dec. 30 at Jones County High School in Gray, Ga.

Game times and opponents will be posted prior to the tournament.

Check www.fpdvikings.com for further information in the coming days.

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 and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fpdathletics.

BOX SCORE:

FPD 68, SCHLEY COUNTY 42

SCH 12-12-8-10 — 42
FPD 14-15-26-13 — 68

Schley County: Ja’Marcus Scott 11, Noah Hammons 7, Christian Arnet 6, Marquell Sims 5, D.J. Tatum 3, Denvonta Alridge 3, Tra Sampson 2, Dontarius Napper 1.

FPD: Maurice Gordon 15, Champ Dawson 12, Armaun Smith 8, Henry Middlebrooks 8, Reggie Gantt 7, Titus Moore 7, E.J. Tobler 4, Beck Muse 3, Alex Giron 3, Jacob Oates 1.

3-pointers: Schley County 7 (Scott 2, M. Sims 1, Alridge 1, Arnet 1, Tatum 1, Hammons 1); FPD 4 (Smith 1, Middlebrooks 1, Giron 1, Moore 1).

Records: FPD 5-1, Schley County 3-7.

Next: Schley County at Stratford, 3:30 p.m., Saturday; FPD at Bank of Gray Classic, Dec. 28-30, TBD.