Quietly following the lead of their beloved and highly acclaimed boys varsity basketball team, the Lady Highlanders of First Presbyterian Christian Academy slowly chipped away opponent after opponent.
On Friday night, the girls defeated Georgia Christian School 53-40 at the St. James Sports Center to suddenly emerge in the No. 1 spot in the Georgia Independent School Association’s 2-A Women’s Region.
The Lady ’Landers squad, primarily eighth-graders, sophomores and juniors, took a quick 7-2 lead in the first quarter. The girls of Georgia Christian came within three, but FPCA hit one from the line and made a layup to close the quarter up 12-6.
The girls’ defense held GCS to 7 points in the second while they netted 10 to extend their lead to 22-13 at intermission.
The Hinesville girls never quit pressing. They ran up their lead and wore down the opponent.
Lady Highlander Shaquoia Crockett led the girls with 18 points, followed by Aaliyah Wilson with 13 and newcomer Alize Roberts with 11.
Brianna Reece had a solid
defensive game despite a
slightly injured ankle, which kept her at 60 percent of her game, according to coach Rosby
Roberts, an eighth-grader who joined the team earlier this month, is the tallest Lady Highlander.
She took advantage of her height to slam the boards all night.
"When we were playing before, we had the outside working," Frasier said. "We had our shots, but with her, we now have the inside, getting key rebounds and she’s been a very important piece in completing our inside/outside game."
The Lady Highlanders won their last five consecutive games, improving to 11-7 overall. They are 6-0 in the region.
"That was a focal point for us," Frasier said. "We wanted to be at the top of our region and that is what we’ve been working on. We are there now but we have to continue to work hard to remain there."
The coach said the two top seeded teams will meet again, this time in Valdosta.
"We have to get our girls focused again," she said. "Let them know to play hard and be ready."
"The coach set the standard of what we wanted to do and where we wanted to be," assistant coach Mike Brown said. "She told me what she wanted out of our practices and games. We talked to the girls and that is what we tried to execute at practice and game time."
"We have a great group of girls who have been playing basketball for a while and the main focus is to get in there and win games," Frasier said. "We want people to know that FPCA is also about girls’ basketball."
Immediately after the girls game, the boys took the court and garnered a quick 81-46 victory to improve to 18-1 overall and 4-0 in their region.
The battle for the No. 1 spot in the boys’ division was Saturday afternoon when the Highlanders welcomed Bethesda to the St. James Sports Center. Results from that game were not available at press time. The Courier will publish the results as they become available.