It wasn’t the perfect ending to what could have been the perfect season for the First Presbyterian Christian Academy boys’ basketball team.
Looking to stay undefeated in Region 2-AA play, the Highlanders instead fell, 65-52, to a tough Memorial Day team Tuesday at the St. James Sports Center.
FPCA finished the regular season 15-3 overall and 9-1 in region play.
The Matadors have two games remaining in their regular season, but the win against FPCA meant they would be tied for the top spot entering the region tournament next week. Determining the No. 1 seed was done the old-fashioned way — via a coin toss — with the Highlanders winning that.
“It wasn’t the ideal way, but we will take it,” FPCA coach Shane Smith said, adding the game was on senior night a typically emotional night for the outgoing senior players.
Highlander Frederick Heaggans drained back-to-back 3-pointers early in Tuesday’s game, and Michael Burnett went 3-of-3 at the line and hit a layup for a swift 11-0 FPCA lead.
But the Matadors took advantage of untypical Highlander turnovers that night and chipped away at the lead.
“Yeah, we turned the ball over way too much to beat anyone,” Smith said, adding that the ’Landers gave the Matadors too many second shots on the basket.
“We didn't rebound well at all,” he said.
Burnett, a senior, had another big game with 19 points. Densear Carnes added 12 points. Heaggans finished the game with 10 points. Richard Smith added nine points, while John Kyleigh contributed two points.
FPCA will start region-tournament play at 5:30 p.m. next Thursday in Lyons against Citizens Christian or Twiggs Academy. The Matadors and the Highlanders could meet again in the region finals.
“I can’t wait for that rematch,” Smith said.