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Third Quarter Rally Sends Vikings Past Schley Wildcats for 63-59 Road Victory

ELLAVILLE, Ga. – For the first two quarters of action, the FPD Vikings (12-7) were slow and lethargic on the offensive end and found themselves down 31-19 at halftime to the hometown Schley County Wildcats (4-15) in GHSA Class-A non-region play on Saturday afternoon.

But a monstrous third quarter that saw the Vikings outscore the Wildcats  28-11 for a 47-42 lead after 24 minutes coupled with a 16-point fourth quarter led FPD to a come-from-behind 63-59 victory to complete the season series sweep of Schley County. The win also gives FPD a 7-0 lead in the all-time series.

“We just decided at halftime that we needed to make some plays after a poor performance in the first half,” FPD head coach Michael Walton said. “We didn’t play well at all in the first half, but all of our guys decided to come together in the second half and came back for the win. I’m proud of our guys for that and their effort. It’s just another positive step in their growing up process.”

FPD trailed 17-9 at the end of the first quarter and were outscored in the second period 14-10.

But Champ Dawson took charge in the second half, scoring a team-high 17 points, 11 coming in the third and fourth quarters. Armaun Smith scored eight of his nine points in the second period as well.

“Those two took matters into their own hands and decided to take control of the game,” Walton said. “They got their teammates involved and I’m proud of them for that.”

Down four players (two to injury and two to SAT commitments), the Vikings had seven different players score that totaled at least five or more points.

“We shared the ball well as a team today I thought, and especially in the second half,” Walton said. “That proved to be one of the big differences in the game along with upping our defensive pressure to create some turnovers on Schley.”

The Wildcats were led in scoring by the 21 points of Ja’Marcus Scott. Daron Batemen added 14 in the loss for Schley County, who have dropped two straight and 12 of their last 13 games.

“This was a game that could’ve easily gotten away,” Walton said. “But thankfully it didn’t. We were coming off a tough loss into this back-to-back and we came out with a win. I’m proud of our guys for pulling together.”

FPD will now shift its focus back to Region 7-A play, traveling to Mount de Sales Academy on Tuesday night, Jan. 26.

The Vikings defeated the Cavaliers 45-39 at the Middlebrooks Athletic Center back on Jan. 8.

The opening tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at McAuley Hall on Tuesday night.

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 63, SCHLEY COUNTY 59

FPD 9-10-28-16 — 63
Schley 17-14-11-17 — 59

FPD: Champ Dawson 17, Armaun Smith 9, Caleb Kelly 9, Beck Muse 8, Wesley Wilson 8, Henry Middlebrooks 7, Jacob Oates 5.

Schley County: Ja’Marcus Scott 21, Daron Bateman 14, Kadvan Neal 8, Christian Arnett 7, Calvin Sims 6, Noah Hammons 3.

3-pointers: Schley 4 (Scott 2, Hammons 1, Sims 1); FPD 1 (Middlebrooks).

Records: FPD 12-7, Schley County 4-16.

Next: FPD at Mount de Sales, 7:30 p.m., Tuesday.