FPCA Highlanders’ remaining 2011-12 schedule
• Jan. 10 8 p.m. at Faith Baptist Christian Academy
• Jan. 12 7:30 p.m. home vs. Memorial Day
• Jan. 13 7:30 p.m. home vs. Curtis Baptist
• Jan. 14 3 p.m. home vs. Burke Academy
• Jan. 17 7:30 p.m. home vs. Toombs Christian Acad.
• Jan. 24 7:30 p.m. at Frederica Acdemy
• Jan. 27 7:30 p.m. at Burke Academy
• Jan. 28 7:30 p.m. at Curtis Baptist
• Jan. 31 7:30 p.m. at Toombs Christian Academy
• Feb. 3 7:30 p.m. at Frederica Academy
Notes: Region play begins in February. The GISA state tournament begins Feb. 15.
First Presbyterian Christian Academy and Bethesda have been rivals for several years, the two schools having met for the Georgia Independent School Association Class AA state title three times in recent years.
That rivalry hasn’t gone anywhere, but Bethesda throttled the Highlanders, 73-37, for the second time this season.
“We just got beat by a better team tonight. We have a long-standing rivalry with Bethesda going back to state title games and even in the regular season,” FPCA coach Ernie Walthour said. “They have been a good basketball team for a long time, and some of those players that were underclassman in the title games are now the juniors and seniors.”
As the game opened, both teams showed patience until Bethesda turned the game into a track meet. The Blazers threatened the Highlanders from the arc, the elbow and in the paint.
Defensively, Bethesda played a strong zone that stopped the Highlanders from scoring off baseline cuts.
Bethesda also used a tenacious full-court press that created problems for the FPCA guards.
“Even though we lost, I still saw some good things we did,” Walthour said. “The first half of this season we have been searching for identity as a team, and we are finding it. We are playing better team basketball as a team; we just have to keep working harder.”
Walthour also was pleased with the play of newcomer Chris Guilfo and Ahmad Muhammad.
Herbert Roberts led the Highlanders with 19 points. Josiah Alley finished with five points.
With the loss, the Highlanders fall to 2-4 on the season.
“We have a couple of days off to get ready to play in the Christmas tournaments. We will get to play against some good teams and also have a chance to keep gelling as a team and get ready for the second half of the season,” Walthour said.
Bethesda 18 23 12 20 — 73
FPCA 3 20 6 8 — 37
FPCA: Herbert Roberts 19, Josiah Alleyne 5, Chris Guilfo 4, Ahmad Muhammad 4, Dominique Kirkley 3, Damian Osborne 2.