Basketball rivalry encourages school spirit

Rivalry games are what every sports team looks forward to in a season. For the FVHS men’s basketball team, these rivalry games are mostly taking place early in the season, but they still mean a ton. 

The atmosphere is always great when we play these games. I would love to have that same atmosphere and fan intensity at every game,” said Fuquay head coach Randall Barrow.

The Bengals opened up the season on the road against a very talented Holly Springs team. The Bengals fought hard and had the lead after the first quarter, but were eventually overwhelmed by the Golden Hawks, losing 85-66. The Bengals will get another shot against the former SWAC foe on Tuesday, December 6, this time at Fuquay. When Fuquay hosted Holly Springs last year, the Bengals took home the win on a buzzer-beater. 

In order for the Bengals to pull off the upset at home, they will need to feed off the crowd and play lockdown defense/drain threes. 

“I think having the home-court advantage against a rival is a huge factor. Basketball is a sport of momentum and a home crowd can really energize us. I think we have a solid chance to upset Holly at home,” said senior Andrew Schneider.

Unfortunately for the Bengals, they ended up losing to Holly Springs a second time. The final score of this game was 91-53.

After a tough loss in the season opener, the Bengals had little time to dwell on it as they took the short drive to take on the Middle Creek Mustangs. The heated rivalry between the two schools has aged well after the Bengals left the SWAC before the 2021 season. The Bengals once again got off to a strong start taking an early lead after the first quarter. They were able to extend the lead this time leading 47-36 after the third quarter. After staving off a furious comeback attempt from the Mustangs, Fuquay was able to hold on and win their first game of the season 54-50. Senior Dylan Setzer led the Bengals in scoring for the game with 21 points. 

After beating the Mustangs on the road, Fuquay had their second matchup against Middle Creek in under a week, this time at home. After being knotted up at 34 at halftime, the Bengals were able to grab the lead in the second half and not let it go. The Bengals took home their second victory over Middle Creek in a week, this time with the final score of 63-53. Setzer once again led Fuquay in scoring with 25, while seniors Andrew Schneider and Jake Hart were able to put up great efforts on the offensive end, with 14 and 12 points respectively. 

“The OC was super loud and it made it so much more fun to be on the court. The crowd was great overall,” said Hart. 

As far as the Greater Neuse River conference is concerned, the Bengals are new to the conference and haven’t necessarily developed a huge rivalry yet with most of the other schools. One exception to that is a new cross-town rival, the Willow Springs Storm. After beating the Storm handily twice last season, the Bengals are sure to get the Storm’s best shot this year as Willow looks to pick up their first-ever win against Fuquay for varsity basketball. 

The fact that the two schools are local and the students are interconnected within the community is what makes this rivalry so great. 

“Willow Spring games are always going to be big games. The fact their students and our students were together as freshmen and in middle school adds the factor of familiarity,” stated Barrow.