First Presbyterian Christian Academy’s basketball teams split non-region games against Appling Christian Academy on Tuesday at the St. James Sports Center.
The FPCA girls lost, 48-13, and the Highlander boys won, 74-59.
Lady ’Landers coach Rosby Frasier recalled the first time the two schools played each other, and the outcome was about the same. The Lady ’Landers were without a few players due to illness. Also, the Lady Eagles capitalized on several turnovers to keep the lead. Meanwhile, FPCA struggled with shooting until late in the fourth quarter.
The opposite was true in the boys’ game, as the Eagles had a tough time keeping up with the speed of the Highlanders, who outscored Appling, 23-6, in the first quarter. FPCA had a 42-24 lead at the half.
Starters Herbert Roberts, Domonique Kirkley, Ahmad Muhammad, Tevin Womack and Chris Guilfo sat for most of the third quarter as FPCA coach Ernie Walthour used the lead to test his bench. He sent in veteran D’Angelo Streeter and up-and-coming players Richard Smith, Davion Mitchell, George Mitchell and Jean Baptiste to see how well they fared as a unit.
“We are trying to get them ready for next year by placing them in games and use every opportunity I can get to see them play together on the floor,” Walthour said. “We have a pretty good nucleus of players coming back next season.”
The reserve players did well, but the Eagles chipped away at the Highlanders’ lead off a series of 3-pointers in the third and fourth quarters. But FPCA answered back and nailed nine 3-point shots in the game. In the fourth quarter, with the starters back in for a while, FPCA scored 15 of its 16 points from behind the arc.
Roberts had 19 points to pace the Highlanders. Womack scored 17 points with two 3-pointers. Streeter also had a pair of treys en route to 11 points. George Mitchell, an eighth-grader, added nine points, including two baskets from downtown.
The Highlanders have two more games this week and a tough set of opponents forthcoming. FPCA got a late start to their basketball season due to their inaugural football season, but Walthour said he is pleased with the group so far.
“I am real happy with where the team is, and we are playing good team ball so I am happy about where we are at right now,” he said. “We still have a tough schedule coming up. We have to go to Memorial (Day), and they have a good program. We will be tested this Friday against Augusta Home School. They are a big AAU team, and they can play so we have some good games coming up.”
FPCA seems pleased with Walthour. He thought he would only stay head coach for two seasons and help the school find a long-term replacement. But he said last week that school administrators asked him to stay and continue running the boys’ team.
“I want to thank the board for the opportunity,” he said. “It was humbling to be asked to stay on, and so it looks like I’ll be the head coach here for a while. I am very excited that I will be staying on with the team.”
FPCA 23|19|16|16 – 74
Appling 6|18|15|20 – 59
Appling: Bryce Livingston 19, Rex Cox 14, Jordan Bland 11
FPCA: Herbert Roberts 19, Tevin Womack 17, D’Angelo Streeter 11