By Austin Bishop
The Choctaw County Plaindealer
Hopefully the third time will actually be a charm for the French Camp Academy basketball teams.
The Panthers and Lady Panthers were both set to face division foe Ethel for the their time this season when they opened district tournament play at Montgomery County High School on Tuesday.
“It’s not easy when you play somebody three times, especially as recently as we have just played them,” FCA boys head coach Tommy Ward said.
The French Camp boys blew past rival Ethel 86-49 on Thursday, while the Lady Panthers took a 53-42 win over the EHS Lady Tigers.
The FCA girls and Ethel were set to square off at 7 on Tuesday followed by the two boys teams at 8:30. If the French Camp girls won they will take on top-seeded McAdams at 4 p.m. on Thursday, while with a win the FCA boys were set to take on host Montgomery County at 8:30 p.m
A win on Tuesday automatically qualifies the French Camp boys and girls spots in the play-in round of the MHSAA Class 1A State Tournament next week, because the top four teams out of each region tournament advance.
Both the French Camp boys and girls won two of the three games they played last week, with the girls picking up a pair of division wins and the boys going 1-1 in league play.
The Lady Panthers used a massive performance from Suna Kuac to take a narrow 56-52 win over Durant. Kuac scored 18 points and claimed 30 rebounds. Myesha Scot scored 11 points and had 15 rebounds for the winners, while Anna Grace McKenzie had nine points and eight rebounds and Abok Nbek hit for nine.
Against Ethel, the Lady Panthers outscored the Lady Tigers 23-5 in the fourth quarter to take the 53-42 win. Kuac scored 22 points and had 13 rebounds, while Widan Toto claimed 19 rebounds to go with five points and McKenzie scored 10 of her own. Scott had nine points and six rebounds.
French Camp held a 17-11 first quarter lead over Nanih Waiya, but the Lady Warriors took a 27-24 lead at the half and outscored the Lady Panthers 31-21 in the second half to take the 58-45 win.
The French Camp boys opened the week with a 55-49 loss to Durant, but then rallied to roll past Ethel by 37 points and then beat Nanih Waiya 69-52.
The Panthers led Durant 29-27 at the half and 38-34 after three quarters, but were outscored by the Panthers 21-11 in the fourth quarter.
Tevin Harris had 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals to lead FCA, while Jesse Hosket had 11 points and eight boards and Michael Erving scored 10 pounds and had six rebounds. Cortez Johnson had eight points. and seven rebounds and Nyang Wek scored seven points.
Wek scored 10 points and had 15 rebounds to lead FCA in the win over Ethel, while Tyler Peters had 15 points and nine boards, Erving had 14 points and eight rebounds and Hosket had 11 points and nine rebounds.