French Camp looks to stay alive in basketball playoffs

By Austin Bishop
The Choctaw Plaindealer

If the French Camp Academy boys and girls basketball teams are going to advance to their respective MHSAA Class 1A South State Tournaments then they will have to follow a similar path. And part of that path will be South down Hwy 15 as they were set to pay a visit to Noxapater for play-in games.

The FCA girls finished fourth in their region tournament and were scheduled to travel to top-seeded Noxapater on Monday night, while the French Camp boys finished third, but due to the way the bracket fell were also set to travel to Noxapater. The boys game was scheduled for Tuesday.

The FCA boys beat Ethel 72-52 in the opening round of their region journey, before falling to host Montgomery County 50-41 in the semifinals and then beating McAdams 62-58 in a tight contest in the consolation game in order to nab the third seed.

“We had a pretty good effort overall,” said FCA boys coach Tommy Ward. “We missed a lot of close shots against Montgomery County, but the effort was there all week.”

French Camp outscored Ethel 23-6 in the third quarter to break a 27-27 tie and roll to the win. Nyang Wek scored 24 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to lead the Panthers, while Tevin Harris had 14 points and seven rebounds, Michael Erving 17 points and Tyler Peters scored six points and pulled down 13 rebounds.

FCA only trailed 37-33 after three quarters of play, but Montgomery County pulled away in the fourth quarter to take a nine-point win. Wek pumped in 18 points to lead FCA, while Erving scored eight and Peters had six points and 12 rebounds.

Cortez Johnson scored 24 points and claimed 13 rebounds to lead FCA to the win over McAdams, while Wek had 23 points and nine rebounds. Harris had seven points and eight boards, while Peters had five points and 11 rebounds.

The Lady Panthers had to fight hard to beat Ethel 35-31 in the first round of the tourney, before falling to McAdams 64-40 in the semifinals and Sebastopol 51-33 in the consolation game.

“We were tied at the half against Ethel and just told the girls that the season was going to be over if they didn’t come out and play better in the second half,” said FCA head coach Martha Ward.

The Lady Panthers trailed 26-22 after three quarters of play, but outscored the Lady Tigers 13-5 in the fourth quarter to take the win.

Carlin West scored 11 points to lead the Lady Panthers, while Suna Kuac had six points and 20 rebounds and Widan Toto pulled down 15 boards.

After falling behind McAdams 36-19 at the half the Lady Panthers fought back to cut the lead to eight points, before McAdams pulled away late. West scored 11 points to lead FCA, while Kuac hit for nine and Anna Grace MacKenzie and Myesha Scott scored eight each.

French Camp held a 14-13 half-time lead over Sebastopol on Friday, before the Lady Bobcats outscored the Lady Panthers 19-9 in the third quarter and 19-10 in the fourth quarter to take the win. West scored 11 points and dished out five assists, while MacKenzie had nine points and Scott had eight points and seven assists. Kuac claimed nine rebounds for FCA, while Toto pulled down eight boards.