For the second time in a week, Flagler Palm Coast junior guard Tyler Hopkins was the hero. This time, he did it old school, NBA Jam style, heating up from behind the arch.
Hopkins nailed nine 3-pointers Tuesday night, leading FPC past Sandalwood, 71-70, in a district matchup.
The Bulldogs improved to 4-1, 2-0 in district play. The only loss for the Bulldogs came last week to state-ranked Father Lopez.
In the game Tuesday night, the Bulldogs were down by two points with 10 seconds left in the game. Markel McCall shot a 3-pointer, but the ball rimmed out. Sandalwood got the rebound.
After a timeout, Hopkins stole the inbound pass, and FPC coach Gary McDaniel used his final timeout to set up the final play. The Bulldogs trailed 70-68.
Hopkins got the ball from Brendan McFarlane on the inbound pass, shook a defender, and drained the 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
Hopkins scored 27 points, including four 3-points in the fourth quarter. As a team, FPC converted 13 3-pointers.
McCall added 11 points, Willie Gardner had 10, Chris Lubin had eight points, and Malik Maitland had seven points.
“"This was tight from start to finish,” McDaniel said after the game. “We really wanted this game, but we knew that (Sandalwood) needed the district win as well. We were very fortunate to have Tyler shoot lights out from the start. He really showed why he is one of the captains on this squad."
The Bulldogs play 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, at Ponte Vedra, then host an in-school game 12 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at FPC.