Senior Diajah Davis and freshman Armani Walker combined for 36 of FPC’s 49 points in the Dec. 3 showdown.
It was a game of runs Saturday, Dec. 3, in the crosstown matchup between Flagler Palm Coast and Matanzas in girls basketball, but the Lady Bulldogs made the last push.
The Lady Bulldogs went on a 9-4 run in the final three minutes to beat the Lady Pirates, 49-44, at FPC.
FPC improved to 4-3 on the season, while Matanzas dropped to 3-4.
FPC began the game on a 5-0 run, but Matanzas went on an 11-2 run to close out the first quarter. The Lady Pirates led 23-18 at halftime.
Late in the third quarter, Matanzas stretched its lead to seven points, the largest by either team in the game, but FPC responded with a six-point run, and closed the gap to three points, trailing 34-31, at the end of three quarters.
Most of the second half seemed like a one-on-one matchup between Davis and Lady Pirates guard Cristina Cheberko.
Davis scored 26 points, grabbed eight rebounds, had two steals and one assist. She was also clutch from the free-throw line late in the game.
Cheberko, who was clearly the go-to player for the Lady Pirates all game, had 21 points, six rebounds and four assists.
With about three minutes left in the game, FPC took the lead behind a Davis foul shot, 41-40. On the inbound, freshman Armani Walker stole the ball and converted a layup.
A few plays later, FPC forced a turnover and sealed the victory.
First-year Matanzas coach Brian Morris said after the game he felt bad for his senior players, who were hoping to beat FPC for the first time.
Despite the loss, Morris said his Lady Pirates should finally get some respect from opposing teams.
“Teams now know they can’t overlook us as an easy victory anymore,” Morris said.
As for the crosstown matchup, FPC coach Javier Bevacqua said the rivalry is slowly brewing.
“The rivalry has intensified because of what (coach Brian Morris) brings to the table, and we love it,” Bevacqua said. “That’s what an in-county rivalry should be.”
Though Cheberko dropped 21 points, FPC’s main goal was to slow down the Matanzas senior.
“She’s a senior, she’s crafty, she’s a veteran,” Bevacqua said of Cheberko. “She did what she had to do, and kudos to her.”
Armani Walker finished with 10 points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals.
For Matanzas, Samantha Volpe had six points and Morgan Pearson had five points.
FPC plays 7 p.m. Dec. 8, at home against University. Matanzas plays 7 p.m. Dec. 8, at Halifax.
Contact Andrew O’Brien at [email protected].