With only a week left in the regular season, the FCAHS Aggies find themselves in unchartered territory. At 7-1, they sit atop Region 7-4A and control their own destiny the rest of the way. Plenty is on the line, including a bye in their upcoming district tournament and an automatic spot in the playoffs. So the Aggies are taking it one game at a time, knowing full well that one slip-up could cost them.
Despite Purvis’ winless region record, FCAHS left no doubt on Friday against the Tornadoes. Led by three double digit scorers, the Aggies rolled to a 79-42 win, improving to 17-7 overall on the season.
“We’ve really been emphasizing one-game seasons this year,” FCAHS coach Grayson Timidaiski said. “This one’s important just like all the other ones. This was one of the three we had left that we had to take care of.”
Ashton Campbell led the way for the Aggies with 20 points, which is right at his season average. Jaywill Thornton and Lucas Cooley added 14 and 13, respectively. Campbell has proven capable of scoring twice his average on any given night, but he doesn’t have to when Thornton, Cooley or others are hitting.
“He [Campbell] is definitely is our strongest player,” Timidaiski said. “There’s been several nights, though, where we’ve had many guys step up. There’s some nights where he’s had 15 points and some nights where he’s had 45. Fortunately, we’ve got younger guys and even seniors that have stepped up and put up 15 or 12 to match what he’s got.
“Tonight it was very balanced. A lot of that stems from defense. Our guys did a really good job of sitting in the gaps and getting rebounds, which we’ve struggled with at times.”
And though their record might not suggest it, Timidaiski says they’ve often struggled with competing for four quarters, too.
“At times we look like what we’re capable of,” he said. “When we beat Lawrence County last week, that was the first time that we competed for an entire 32 minutes. We have shown glimpses of greatness, and then we have some poor judgement and lapses on defense.”
FCAHS will close out their regular season next week with district contests versus Sumrall and Poplarville. If the Aggies win out, they’ll be the No. 1 seed going into the Region 7-4A Tournament. If they happen to drop a game, a tiebreaker between them and Lawrence County would likely decide who takes the top spot. Timidaiski is trying to avoid that at all costs.
“I love guarantees,” he said.