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Vikings Hold on for 50-45 Victory Over 5-A Clarkston in Day One of Jones County Christmas Tournament

GRAY, Ga. – The FPD varsity boys basketball team (6-1) rattled off an impressive win on Monday afternoon, defeating the 5-A Clarkston High School Angoras (2-8) 50-45 at the Greyhound Gymnasium in day one of the State Bank Holiday Classic hosted by Jones County High School.

The win gives FPD three straight victories and sets up a semifinal game against Central High School on Tuesday afternoon at 5:30 p.m.

“We led early and we led by a lot and then we sort of lost our energy,” FPD head boys basketball coach Michael Walton said. “But when it mattered most our guys got the job done. That’s what we as a coaching staff and as a team are most proud of.”

FPD did lead early and lead by a significant margin.

The Vikings jumped out to a 18-11 advantage at the end of the first quarter and led 32-18 at halftime.

“We had a big lead at halftime, and honestly, I think we just got tired,” Walton said. “We came out flat in the third quarter and they (Clarkston) came out with a lot of energy. They are a scrappy team and by the end of the third quarter we had a ball-game on our hands.”

FPD scored just five points in that third quarter while Clarkston netted 18. Going into the final eight minutes, FPD led by just one point at 37-36.

But the Vikings didn’t wither away, holding the Angoras to just nine points in the final frame while scoring 13.

“Thankfully we’ve been in close ball games early in the season so far,” Walton said. “I say that because I think our guys understand what to do in those situations. And they did it again tonight. They got the stops they needed to and we scored when we had to in order to come away with a win.”

FPD was led in scoring by the 10 points of Titus Moore while Armaun Smith and Champ Dawson each totaled nine points.

Clarkston’s A.J. McNeil led all scorers with 16 points. Teammate Mo Musa added 10 points.

“There are still things we have to work on,” Walton said. “We know this game shouldn’t have been that close. But, our guys are still young and learning. We were 12-of-31 from the free throw line and still didn’t shoot the ball well. That will come, but I’m proud that we don’t give up. We have an identity and our guys know they can and want to get better.”

The Vikings will have a chance to prove that on Tuesday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. in the semifinals of the State Bank Holiday Classic at Jones County High School by taking on the Central High School Chargers, who defeated Monroe Area earlier in the day.

Central holds a 2-0 lead over FPD at the Jones County Christmas Tournament, claiming a 65-47 win in the 2013-14 season before knocking off the Vikings for the first time in the 2012-13 season 78-67.

Check www.fpdvikings.com for updates on the boys basketball team throughout the tournament.

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 50, CLARKSTON HIGH SCHOOL 45 (at Jones County High School)

CLK 11-7-18-9 — 45
FPD 18-14-5-13 — 50

Clarkston: A.J. McNeil 16, Mo Musa 10, Tado Bashir 7, SuSu Etongwe 6, John Marshall 4, Iram Spann 2.

FPD: Titus Moore 10, Armaun Smith 9, Champ Dawson 9, Beck Muse 8, Henry Middlebrooks 5, Maurice Gordon 4, Wesley Wilson 3, Caleb Kelly 2.

3-pointers: Clarkston 4 (McNeil 2, Benjamin 1, Musa 1); FPD 2 (Middlebrooks 1, Moore 1).

Records: FPD 6-1, Clarkston 2-8.

Next: FPD v. Central (Macon), 5:30 p.m., Tuesday (at Jones County High School)