Fuqua Prevails Over SA In A Game Of Runs

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, January 19, 2012

FARMVILLE – The Fuqua School boys basketball team used a series of runs in the second half to build a big lead and hold on for a 74-66 victory over Southampton Academy on Tuesday night at Gilmer Gymnasium.

In what started out as a close contest, Fuqua used a 7-0 run late in the first half to build a 38-31 lead with about 90 seconds left in the second quarter on a layup by Antonio Gonzalez, before Southampton cut the Falcons' advantage to three at 38-35 at the intermission.

“That's been our story the last couple of games,” said first-year Fuqua coach Marcus Gregory. “When we don't follow our defensive principles, we don't get stops, and that's where [our opponents'] runs come from. When we do that, that's where we make our runs.”

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Fuqua gave their first year head coach a little bit of both on Tuesday night, as the game was defined by multiple runs by both teams. Fortunately for the Falcons, Fuqua's runs happened to be bigger. Fuqua scored 11 consecutive points to start the second half, gave the Falcons a commanding 49-35 lead minutes into the third quarter. A three-pointer by Larry Haskins and another three by Davis Cyrus gave the Falcons their biggest lead of the game at 55-39. Southampton cut the lead to 63-54, before Fuqua extended its lead to 70-56 midway through the fourth quarter.

Despite a couple of attempts by Southampton to get back into the contest, Fuqua was able to score enough to keep their guests from cutting the Falcons' advantage to under three possessions.

“We're working on how to close out games,” said Gregory, who pointed out two earlier losses to Richmond Christian (50-49 on January 10), and a 78-70 loss at Amelia Academy last Friday as examples. “I felt that cost us in both of those games. We need to understand game situations and how and when we should be attacking.

“Hopefully, as we improve on running full-court sets, we'll also improve in that area.”

Fuqua put five players in double-figures, led by Carter Cunningham, who scored 15 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Antonio Gonzalez scored 13, and was credited with eight assists, while Cyrus added 11 points and Jai Jamerson and Charles Williams scored ten points apiece. All seven of Larry Haskins' points came after the intermission.

The Raiders were led in scoring by Carson Camp, who scored a game-high 18 points, while Tanee Hill added 16, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and Matt Nixon and Matt Rose, who scored 11 points apiece.

Fuqua was scheduled to host Kenston Forest on Friday night around 7:30 in a boys/girls quadrupleheader. Gregory got his first taste of what's considered to be Fuqua's biggest rival earlier in the week.

“It's going to be our alumni night as well,” said Gregory. “And earlier this week when the advertisements went out, I found out what the game means to a lot of our alumni. I'm from the Tony Shaver camp of looking no further than your next game, so I wasn't even thinking about Kenston Forest. I was focusing on Southampton. I think it may have distracted us but I understand rivalry games, and am looking forward to it.”

Following its home game against the Kavaliers, the Falcons will travel to Brunswick Academy on Tuesday for a 7:30 p.m. contest, and will then travel to Richmond Christian on January 31 for a 7 p.m. game.

Friday's contest will mark the first meeting of the season between the Falcons and Kavaliers. Fuqua defeated Brunswick Academy 73-41 at Gilmer Gymnasium back in December, and lost to Richmond Christian 50-49 on January 10.