AUGUSTA -- FPD found itself in the exact same scenario a year ago against Wilkinson County in the GHSA Region 7-A girls basketball championship game.
The Vikings needed to win the 7-A title game to make it to the Class A private school playoffs because they sat just outside the top 16 teams in the Class A power rankings, which determine the playoff teams because public and private schools are split in the Class A playoffs. The only way into the playoffs without going through the power rankings is for a team to win its region.
Sitting 19th in the power rankings entering the region tournament, FPD likely needed to beat Wilkinson County on Tuesday night at Aquinas to make the playoffs.
A slow start doomed those chances. Wilkinson County outscored FPD by 14 in the first quarter and kept that double-digit lead for much of the night in a 58-30 win.
The victory guaranteed a home playoff game for the Warriors, who were eighth in the public school power rankings. The Vikings only hope is that a number of teams havent entered their completed data yet. The GHSA has an appeals process to contest a teams power ranking.
The Warriors scored the games first seven points and held the Vikings without a field goal for the first four minutes. But the Vikings went on an eight-minute drought without a field goal and fell behind 22-4.
The Vikings started to pick away at the Warriors lead in the second quarter, but they made their most significant run from the foul line. They pulled to within 10 on two different occasions thanks to 9-of-12 shooting from the foul line in the third quarter.
Two of FPDs starters fouled out early in the fourth quarter, and the Warriors continued to pressure the Vikings for most of the fourth quarter.
FPD head coach Charley Chase said prior to the game he felt like his team had a great season, regardless of the outcome Tuesday. He was also a little miffed the Vikings still sat so low despite winning 10 of their past 11 games prior to Tuesday. That streak included a win over Putnam County, which was 23-2 heading into Tuesdays Region 4-AA championship game.