By Austin Bishop
The Choctaw Plaindealer
While the French Camp Academy boys and girls basketball teams may not have won as many games as they would have liked in last week’s Montgomery County Tournament, both squads were able to achieve their major goal — get the players back into the flow of playing basketball headed in to district play.
The Panthers and Lady Panthers were set to open region play at McAdams on Tuesday, which will be the first of seven consecutive league games for FCA.
“It was just a good way to get them back and get them focused,” said FCA girls coach Martha Ward.
“When we set our schedule up, were trying to find a way to get back into some kind of playing condition,” said boys coach Tommy Ward. I knew it would be some strong competition, but we needed the challenge.”
The Lady Panthers lost to Winona 53-38 on Thursday in the tournament, before beating host Montgomery County 44-12 on Friday and then falling to a strong East Webster team 60-42 on Saturday.
The FCA boys lost to Winona 62-47 and Montgomery County 63-49 before beating East Webster 66-41 on Saturday.
After being tied with Winona 18-18 at the half, the Lady Panthers ran out of steam over the last 16 minutes as Winona won by 15 points. Myesha Scott led FCA with 15 points, while Carlin West scored seven and Abok Nbek and Suna Kuac scored four apiece.
“We shot kind of like I thought we would,” coach Martha Ward said. “We missed a lot of open shots. I thought we would be rusty.”
Kuac poured in 16 points to lead FCA in the win over Montgomery County, while Anna Grace MacKenzie hit for seven and Nbek and West scored six each.
MacKenzie scores 14 points for the Lady Panthers against East Webster, while Kuac hit for 10, West eight and Widan Toto six.
The Lady Panthers were 5-4 headed into the week’s action.
Going into the Montgomery County Tournament, the FCA boys had only played two games all season, more than doubling that total by the end of the week. The Panthers are now 3-2 on the season.
FCA fell behind Winona 19-4 after one quarter of play, but continued to battle.
“We finally got our wind and our legs back and played them even after the first quarter,” said FCA boys coach Tommy Ward.
Nyang Wek scored 17 points and blocked four shots to lead FCA against Winona, while Tevin Harris had 12 points and six rebounds and Michael Erving scored 10 points.
Erving scored 17 points to lead the Panthers against host Montgomery County, while Wek had 14 points. Tevin Harris scored six points and pulled down five rebounds for FCA, while Johnson had six rebounds and four steals to go with four points.
French Camp used a big second quarter against East Webster to stretch a 13-10 lead into a 33-16 advantage at the half. Erving and Wek scored 16 points each to lead FCA, while Harris had 11 points and eight rebounds. Johnson scored seven for the winners, while Jesse Hosket had six points and seven rebounds and B.J. Risen scored six points of his own. Erving dished out four assists.
“Overall I am pleased with what we got out of the week,” Ward said. “By Saturday I was able to rotate seven or eight guys in. Those games will definitely help us.”