VEEDERSBURG - There have not been many better first halves of basketball played recently than Fountain Central’s boys team displayed in a 62-36 win over Faith Christian Friday.
Aside from missing a few free throws, the Class A No. 5 ranked Mustangs owned Dave Sanders Court, and gave no quarter for two quarters, as they rolled to a 40-11 halftime advantage.
“We’ve been a little Jekyll and Hyde at times,” FC coach Greg Dean said. “Tonight we started strong and stayed aggressive.”
Strong is a bit of an understatement.
The Eagles took their only lead of the game when they hit a three-pointer 90 seconds into the contest.
The Mustangs put the next 15 on the board, and never looked back as they move to 13-3 on the season, while Faith Christian falls to 5-10. It is the fifth straight win for FC, and they remain perfect at home, now sporting a 7-0 record.
The shots were falling from close in during the onslaught because the Mustangs were forcing turnovers and heading to the other end. Then, when they missed the occasional shot, they grabbed an offensive rebound and put one back in.
“We did a good job creating offense from our defense,” Dean said of the 13 first-half turnovers forced, which they turned into 20 first-half points.
Leading the way for FC was junior guard Isaac Gayler, who looked more like a center as he hit all nine shots in that first half, all from arm’s distance to the rim.
With a couple free throws, he had 20, on his way to a career-best 27. He finished his double-double with 11 rebounds.
“He (Gayler) attacked the offensive glass,” Dean said. “He’s been battling all season - it was good for him to get over the hump tonight.”
Not to be out-done, junior guard Will Harmon provided the outside power in that half, with 13 points. He added five steals and a pair of assists in that first two quarters.
“The guys did all we asked in the first half,” Dean said of the performance. “They executed very well. We found ways to keep the pressure on and that turned into some easy points. We didn’t do that nearly as well in the second half.”
The second half saw the Eagles regroup and play the Mustangs even. While still not shooting very well, they turned the ball over less and found the range on some shots.
They were led in scoring by James Rogers, who actually was the fifth sub off the bench. The senior had nine points. Starting guard RJ Berry had seven points and led his team with eight rebounds.
Overall, Faith Christian was 12-of-42 from the field, 5-of-14 from long range and 7-of-9 from the line. They finished with 26 rebounds and 17 turnovers.
Gayler was followed by Harmon’s 13 and Luke Foxworthy with seven.
Foxworthy was honored before the game for his football skills, as he was named All-State in Class 1A as a tight end by the Football Coaches Association and was also named Academic All-State.
For the night, the Mustangs were 22-of-47 from the field, 4-of-17 from deep and 14-of-24 from the line. They finished with 41 rebounds and had nine turnovers.
“Both Brayden Prickett and Koby Wolf did good jobs tonight running the show,” Dean said, noting their four points each and six combined rebounds. “We are always trying to get better.”
The Mustangs hit the road Saturday, weather permitting, with a trip to Benton Central, whose Friday game was postponed due to snow and road conditions. They also have a Feb. 11 home game against Southmont.
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