The FPCA basketball teams started their season last week.
Tuesday night at the Coastal Home School in Bloomingdale, the Highlanders pulled out an upset, while the JV boys and the varsity girls suffered losses.
The varsity boys won 47-43. Starting the season with a new team that has six freshmen, coach Shane Smith was unsure how the first game would play out.
"For their first game, the team did better than we expected," he said. "We were very strong defensively, and had multiple steals and deflections."
The Highlanders were down by two at the half and did not take the lead until midway through the third quarter. The tone of the game changed when, down by six points, freshman Jabari Oneal entered the court and calmed nerves. Oneal settled the team down, keeping composure while finding good passes and setting up the opportunity to score.
Cameron Nunn was versatile on the court, good on offense and defense. Tre’shaun Davis led the team in points.
Smith said was proud of the way his young team stayed composed.
"They have to learn the system we play," the coach said. "Once they learn our way of doing things, they will be a hard team to beat, even though they are young."
He praised his athletes.
"They were very unselfish, passing the ball and encouraging. It did not matter who got the basket as long as someone did," he said. "I like that about this team and it is refreshing to come across a group of players like that."
The Highlander JV lost 47-18. Eighth-grader James Osteen led in points, nailing two 3 point baskets. The JV is coached by David Linderman.
The varsity girls are in a rebuilding year after graduating three seniors in May. They lost 53-14 to Coastal Homeschool. The Lady ’Landers are coached by Rosby Frasier and Lee Christensen.
Thursday night, the Highlanders played Claxton High School there. The boys lost the non-conference game 71-35. The girls fell 55-22.
More statistics were not available.
Next up for the teams are home games against St. Andrew’s of Savannah on Dec. 7.