Vikings Drop to Rival Stratford Eagles 64-50 on Senior Night

MACON, Ga. – The FPD varsity boys basketball team held court for one quarter in Friday’s GHSA Class-A Private Region-7A showdown.

But that’s all the Vikings (11-7, 4-3 Reg. 7-A) could muster, falling 64-50 on Senior Night 2016 to its in-town and long-time rival Stratford Academy Eagles (13-4, 5-2 Reg. 7-A) at Coach Mac’s Court at the Middlebrooks Athletic Center on Friday night.

“We played well for a quarter and then got away from the game plan and we started to try to shoot too much from the outside,” FPD head coach Michael Walton said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well at all and I think that, along with Stratford being a really good basketball team, resulted in us falling tonight.”

FPD trailed 14-11 at the end of the first quarter but the Eagles outscored the Vikings 15-7 in the second quarter to take a 29-18 lead into halftime.

The biggest blow of that second quarter though came when FPD sophomore Maurice Gordon was forced to leave the game with an ankle injury.

“That was a big blow because he’s a big part of what we do,” Walton said. “I think it probably would have been a different game if we had Mo in there. But we didn’t and we still had our chances and didn’t capitalize. At the end of it all, you have to tip your cap to Stratford because they did what they were supposed to do.”

The Eagles put the game nearly out of reach in the third quarter, going on a 19-11 run in eight minutes. FPD would win the fourth frame 21-16.

Stratford’s Quintez Cephus posted a game-high 28 points, with 19 coming in the second half. Teammate O’Showen Williams finished with 17 points.

“Those two players know how to play basketball,” Walton said. “They can create things for themselves and their teammates when they need to. They have a really good basketball team.”

FPD was led in scoring by the 17 points of Champ Dawson, 14 of which came in the second half. Armaun Smith finished with 15 points.

The Eagles hit five 3-pointers to FPD’s three. Cephus led the game with three made 3-pointers.

“This was an emotional one for our guys,” Walton said. “It always is for both teams. But we have to just do our best to move on because we are still in this thing. We, myself included, have to get better as players and coaches to keep moving forward.”

FPD will look to do that on a quick turn-around on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 23 at Schley County High School in non-region play.

The Vikings bested the Wildcats 68-42 back on Dec. 18 at the Middlebrooks Athletic Center.

Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. in Ellaville, Ga.

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 and sign up for up-to-the-minute news and scores by following the Vikings on Twitter at @FPDVikingSports and on Facebook at



SAE 14-15-19-16 — 64
FPD 11-7-11-21 — 50

Stratford: Quintez Cephus 28, O’Showen Williams 17, Tyler Jordan 6, Nate Brooks 6, James Mitchell 3, John Michael O’Quinn 2, Tommy McCook 2.

FPD: Champ Dawson 17, Armaun Smith 15, Jacob Oates 5, Reggie Gantt 4, Beck Muse 4, Henry Middlebrooks 3, Wesley Wilson 2.

3-pointers: Stratford 5 (Cephus 3, Mitchell 1, Williams 1); FPD 3 (Dawson 1, Oates 1, Middlebrooks 1).

Records: Stratford 13-4, 5-2 Reg. 7-A; FPD 11-7, 4-3 Reg. 7-A.

Next: FPD at Schley County, 3:30 p.m., Saturday.