It’s hard enough to win an away game, but when a team treks nearly five hours on a bus, shows up at the wrong facility, has to move to a new gym because of a leaky roof and then faces the defending state champions, a victory is nearly impossible.
Those were the odds stacked against the Furtah Prep Falcons on Saturday as they took on the mighty First Presbyterian Christian Academy Highlanders. The Highlanders sailed to a 79-22 win after the game was moved to the Shuman Center because of a leaky roof at St. James.Highlander coach David Jones said the final score didn’t do justice for the visiting team from Acworth. They "just had one of those days when absolutely nothing could go right when we had one where nothing went wrong," Jones said.
In fact the Georgia Independent School Association 4-AA team is 13-3, as of Jan. 12, according to Maxpreps.com. They were the 2007 state 4AA basketball champions.
Jones said the Falcons were on the road most of the weekend playing at Trinity Christian on Friday and trekking to Hinesville for Saturday’s game.
"They are an excellent program," Jones said.
The coach thanked Jimmy Martin and the folks of the Liberty County Recreation Department, who were courteous to make quick accommodations for the game to resume at the Shuman Center.
"We made an announcement and by the time I could get my team out of the gym and get over to the Shuman Center, all the fans were already sitting in the stands waiting on us," he said. "With all that was going on … I’m just saying that Furtah is a much better club than that score indicates. But they had one, long rough day and our kids played great."
Jones said the Falcons had a few key playmakers get into foul trouble early, which helped his team.
The coach said his players are shifting their mindset and going with the defensive philosophy he has implemented into the Highlanders’ program.
"I’ve been preaching the importance of a pressure defense and we are starting to do that," he said. "I want this team to get to the point where opponents know nothing is free. You are going to have to earn everything you get."
Jones said the Falcons’ coach spoke to his players after the game and praised the level of talent and professionalism displayed by the Highlanders.
"One of our goals is to make this team and this program one that people will speak of as one of the best all time teams in the GISA," he said. "We would like to be recognized as the team that set some type of standard."
The Highlanders boys had the week to prepare for Georgia Christian on Friday and Bethesda on Saturday.
The Highlanders are 18-1.