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FPCA, David Emanuel split region opener
First Presbyterian Christian Academys Michael Burnett dribbles past a David Emanuel Academy player during Friday nights game at the St. James Sports Center. The Highlanders won, 90-42. - photo by John Wood

The David Emanuel Academy Lady Eagles handed the First Presbyterian Christian Academy Lady Highlanders a lopsided 55-16 loss Friday night in GISA region play at St. James Sports Center in Hinesville. However, the Highlander boys returned the favor in their game by winning 90-42.
The Lady Eagles jumped out to a quick lead using strong defense to force Lady Highlander turnovers. Despite the difference in the score, FPCA battled throughout the game. Cecilia Graham led the Lady ’Landers with eight points. Mary Whitney finished with four points, and Carah Cochrane had two points.

DEA 55, FPCA 16
DEA 12 19 18 6-55
FPCA 1 2 7 5-16

FPCA opened with a bang, scoring the first 10 points of the game before David Emanuel showed any signs of offensive life. The Highlanders converted on every lay-up attempt and put back during the first quarter, missing only one free throw in the opening quarter.
With a 28-6 lead, FPCA head coach Shane Smith was able to give his reserves the majority of the second quarter. David Emanuel kept its starters in the game and in the final minutes of the first half, the Eagles got to within nine points of the ’Landers. But Simon Steele swished a three-pointer at the end of the first half, keeping the Highlanders ahead by double digits, 42-30.
With the starters back in to kick off the third quarter, FPCA smothered the Eagles, scoring all over the floor and forcing numerous turnovers. The Highlanders outscored David Emanuel 39-9 that quarter.
Senior guard Michael Burnett led the Highlanders in the scoring column with 22 points, and he was paced by Khaylan Weekly with 20 points. Moaus Carnes and Richard Smith finished with 10 points each.
Friday night’s game against David Emanuel opened region play for the Highlanders and gave the squad a needed boost of confidence after Thursday night’s loss to rival Bethesda.
The Blazers beat FPCA, 78-64, marking the Highlander boys’ second loss of the season. Burnett paced the boys with 15 points. Carnes and Smith both sank 14 points in the game. Frederick Haggans chipped in 10, Khaylan Weekly added 9 and John Killough pitched in 2 points. Coach Smith said the boys had an off night at the line, missing 18 free throws.
“Coming in against Bethesda, we were just lackadaisical and didn’t have the focus the way we should have. We still had some rest from the holidays and just didn’t play well against Bethesda,” he said.
FPCA never got into a rhythm against the Blazers, turning the ball over and failing to shoot well. However, the toughest pill to swallow from the loss was the Highlanders’ performance from the charity stripe — they were only 10-of-28.
“I was really surprised with how bad we were at the free-throw line. Normally, we are an 80-85 percent free-throw-shooting team, and we lost by 14 points and we left 18 points on the floor in missed free throws,” Smith said.
The Highlanders start the region off 1-0 with Friday’s rout of DEA and are 6-2 overall. Next week, FPCA continues its region schedule by hosting Twiggs Academy on Tuesday night and traveling to Douglas on Friday to face Citizens Christian Academy.

FPCA 90, DEA 42

DEA 6 24 9 3 — 42
FPCA 28 14 39 9 — 90

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