Trading 3-pointer for 3-pointer, Frederica Academy came out against Georgia Independent Schools Association powerhouse First Presbyterian Christian Academy showing they weren’t about to lay down and take a loss too easily.
But the Highlanders took control in the second half and rolled to a 63-51 win Wednesday at the St. James Sports Center.
Early on, both teams fired away from long range.
The game was tied 8-8 in the first quarter when Highlander Jarquez Smith nailed a 3-pointer from the corner. Fredrica’s Khari Pressley returned the favor with a 3 to tie the game 11-11.
Highlander Jordan Johnson answered with a 3 and eventually the home team built a 21-11 lead before the Knights hit a 3-pointer and began to climb back into the game.
Smith countered with two more 3s to send FPCA to the locker room up 33-27 at the half.
Highlander coach David Jones said he used the break to talk to his team about defense.
"That helped us a little bit," Jones said. "They (Frederica) shoot the ball well and they are very disciplined. And to be disciplined you have to be well coached and they are well coached. They have several kids who can shoot the open shot and the way they moved and passed the ball they continued to get good open shots. They didn’t shoot any forced shots, everything was a good open look."
In the second half Highlander DJ Felder took control of the boards and put in 17 of his 22 points while Johnson added two more 3-pointers.
The Highlanders also clamped down defensively on Frederica.
Jones was pleased with the win but said his team needs to continue to win to make life easier in the postseason tournament.
"We need to win out to have a first place seed," Jones said. "I think they (Frederica) have one region loss, but we have two games this weekend and next Friday night we have to go down there (St. Simon’s) and I understand that is not a pleasant experience, to play on their home court."
The Highlanders are 22-3 overall and 7-0 in Class AA of the Georgia Christian Athletic Association. They host Edmund Burke tonight and will host Curtis Baptist on Saturday.
FPCA 63, Frederica 51
FPCA Jordan Johnson 14, Mike Tige 8, Dominique Kirkley 2, DJ Felder 22, Jarquez Smith 17,