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Boys Hoops Succumbs to Stratford 58-31

MACON, Ga. – The FPD varsity boys basketball team (7-4, 1-1 Reg. 7-A) fell to its longtime rival Stratford Academy (9-3, 1-1 Reg. 7-A) 58-31 at Stratford’s Grady Smith Gymnasium on Tuesday night in Region-7A action.

The loss gives Stratford an 11-2 advantage in the last 13 games played between the two schools and a 3-0 lead in head-to-head GHSA play since last season.

“I thought we came out with the right mindset, but we just didn’t execute it early in the game,” FPD head boys basketball coach Michael Walton said. “One of their best players, O’Showen Williams, got hot early and we didn’t really have an answer the rest of the game.”

Walton was right about Williams. He netted 16 points in the first quarter, including four made 3-pointers. Williams would finish with 24 points to lead all scorers while teammate Quintez Cephus added 16.

“They are a good basketball team and those two players compliment each other well,” Walton said. “But their whole team knows how to play and they move up and down the floor together. That’s something we didn’t do a good job of tonight.”

The Vikings trailed 22-11 at the end of the first quarter and 35-21 at halftime.

The Eagles would hold the Vikings to just 10 points in the second half while netting 23 for the victory.

“We still felt like we had a run in us after halftime, but it never materialized,” Walton said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well and they did. Hats off to them because they were the better team tonight.”

Champ Dawson finished with 10 points to lead FPD.

The Vikings were out-shot from downtown 6-1. Along with Williams’ four 3-pointers for Stratford, Trey Tharpe and James Mitchell each connected from behind the arc for one three.

The Vikings will now shift their focus to the Mount de Sales Cavaliers for another Region 7-A contest on Friday, Jan. 8.

“We have some work to do,” Walton said. “We’ll get back in the gym and correct the things we did wrong tonight and move forward. That’s what you have to do in region play. Win or lose, you have to get back to work.”

Tip off is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Middlebrooks Athletic Center.

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:

STRATFORD 58, FPD 31

FPD 11-10-6-4 — 31
SEA 22-13-12-11 — 58

FPD: Champ Dawson 10, Armaun Smith 8, Maurice Gordon 6, Henry Middlebrooks 4, Wesley Wilson 2, Titus Moore 1.

SEA: O’Showen Williams 24, Quintez Cephus 16, Nate Brooks 4, Trey Tharpe 3, James Mitchell 3, Noah Hill 2, Tyler Jordan 2, Tommy McCook 2, Jon Barron 2.

3-pointers: SEA 6 (Williams 4, Tharpe 1, Mitchell 1); FPD 1 (Dawson).

Records: Stratford 9-3, 1-1 Reg. 7-A; FPD 7-4, 1-1 Reg. 7-A.

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