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Slow Start Dooms Vikings at The Paideia School in 54-42 Loss

ATLANTA – Coming into a back-to-back is always tough, especially after taking GHSA Class-A powerhouse Wilkinson County down to the wire the night before.

And the FPD Vikings’ (10-6) slow start on Saturday’s GHSA Class-A Private non-region contest against The Paideia School Pythons (9-8), proved costly, falling 54-42.

The Pythons now lead the overall series against the Vikings 3-0 after gaining two wins in the 2011-12 season as well. With the loss, FPD has now dropped its past two games.

“We just didn’t have it in the tank tonight,” FPD head boys basketball coach Michael Walton said. “We had is physically, but mentally we were weak from beginning to end. I think that, along with poor shooting, cost us the game.”

Indeed the Vikings did not shoot the rock well at just 18-of-59 from the field in the contest.

FPD trailed Paideia 12-9 at the end of the first quarter and 22-16 after being outscored in the second quarter 10-7.

“We kept it fairly close, but you have to give credit to Coach (JoJo) Cadray and his team,” Walton said. “They executed when they had to and just flat out got us tonight.”

FPD was edged in the third quarter 18-15 to trail 40-31 heading into the final eight minutes. But again the Pythons staved off the Vikings in the fourth quarter 14-11 for the win.

“I was hoping we had a run in us, but it just didn’t happen,” Walton said. “Being without Beck (Muse), Reggie (Gantt) and Titus (Moore) obviously didn’t help as they are nursing some various injuries. But overall we didn’t have it in us tonight and they did. They shot the ball better and made the plays down the stretch to win the game.”

FPD was led in scoring by the career high 10 points of Wesley Wilson while Armaun Smith knocked in nine points.

The Pythons were paced by the game-high 25 points of Addison Owen. The senior drained three 3-pointers and seven 2-pointers with 18 of his 25 coming in the second half. Teammate Jordan Hollins also had an impressive 14 points, 10 of those falling in the third quarter.

“They have a lot of players that can make an impact in a game in a hurry,” Walton said. “They definitely showed that tonight.”

The Vikings now shift their focus back to Region 7-A play, traveling to Jeffersonville, Ga. on Tuesday, Jan. 19 to battle the Twiggs County High School Cobras.

FPD defeated Twiggs County back on Jan. 2 63-44 at the Middlebrooks Athletic Center.

The opening tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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:

PAIDEIA 54, FPD 42

FPD 9-7-15-11 — 42
Paideia 12-10-13-14 — 54

FPD: Wesley Wilson 10, Armaun Smith 9, Henry Middlebrooks 7, Champ Dawson 6, Jacob Oates 6, Maurice Gordon 4.

Paideia: Addison Owen 25, Jordan Hollins 14, Robbie Holley 4, Solomon Burt-Murray 3, Quinn Kidder 3, William Dollar 3, Jordan Kunney 2.

3-pointers: Paideia 8 (Owen 3, Hollins 2, Burt-Murray 1, Kidder 1, Dollar 1); FPD 2 (Oates 1, Middlebrooks 1).

Records: Paideia 9-8; FPD 10-6.

Next: FPD at Twiggs County, 7:30 p.m., Tuesday.