Fluco girls lose in double overtime

By Duncan Nixon, Correspondent

The Fluco girls’ basketball team is getting good at giving its fans potential heart failure.

Coach Chad White’s squad went into overtime hosting Turner Ashby High Dec. 4 and won 62-60. On Dec. 20 the Fluco girls hosted Waynesboro. This time the game went into double overtime.

Unfortunately, in the second overtime, the Flucos went cold, got behind and had to foul. Waynesboro made its free throws and the final score was 45-53.

The Flucos’ high-scoring shooting guard Nevaeh Ivory was out injured, so junior point guard Jules Shepherd really stepped up big time. She repeatedly drove hard to the basket late in the game for important lay-ups. Shepherd scored 10 of her team-high 14 in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Freshman post player Khamare Steppe also had an outstanding game with 12 points, including four each in the fourth quarter and the first overtime. She also was a strong rebounder throughout a long game.
This game was a defensive struggle through the first three quarters, but the pace picked up significantly in the fourth quarter and the first overtime.

The Flucos took an early 5-2 lead in the middle of the first quarter on back-to-back driving baskets by Shepherd and junior wing player Mya Wright. A driving basket by the Little Giants at the buzzer put them ahead after one period by 8-7. It was a low-scoring quarter, but not the lowest.

In the second quarter, the Flucos were about the same on offense, scoring only eight points. The highlight for the Flucos was a corner three pointer by junior sharpshooter Maggie Wentz. Waynesboro made a three pointer at the buzzer for a 15-20 halftime score.

The third quarter was a defensive struggle with neither team able to do much of anything on offence. The Flucos outscored the Little Giants by 5-4 to cut the lead to 20-24. The Flucos got baskets by Shepherd and Wright and a free throw from sophomore guard NeVaeh Bishop.

The fourth quarter was a whole new story. Both teams opened up their offense and the Flucos outscored Waynesboro 16-12. The Flucos scored double what they had managed in the best of their first three quarters.

The quarter opened with Wentz hitting a three pointer to cut the lead to one. Waynesboro responded with a rebound basket, but Bishop scored on a drive and Shepherd stole the ball at mid-court and drove in for a basket to put the Flucos ahead for the first time since early in the second quarter. At that point, the score was 27-26. Waynesboro responded with two free throws to retake the lead. However, Shepherd again scored on a hard drive to the hoop. Waynesboro scored on lay-up and then on one of two from the line to go ahead by two at 29-31. Steppe then scored on a rebound and the game was tied.

With just under two minutes left, Shepherd hit Steppe underneath with a nice pass for a lay-up to put the Flucos up 34-33. Waynesboro hit a free throw and a jump shot in the lane to go up 36-34. With 1:45 left, Shepherd drove coast to coast for a very clutch lay-in to tie the score. No one scored in the final minute and a half. Coach White credited Bishop and Shepherd for strong defense on Waynesboro’s high scoring guards.

Fluco sophomore Kelise Thomas opened the scoring in the first overtime with one of two from the line. Then, Shepherd again hit Steppe underneath for a lay-in and the Fluco led by three. The Flucos fouled on a three point shot and Waynesboro made all three free throws to tie the score. Shepherd made another coast to coast drive for the lead but Waynesboro made two free throws for another tie. Steppe scored on a rebound as the clock wound down. However the Little Giants would not give up and found an opening for a jump shot in the lane to force a second overtime.

Both teams worked hard to get good shots in the second overtime. Unfortunately for the Flucos, Waynesboro converted the first two baskets of the session. Shepherd scored on a drive but the Flucos were then forced to send the Little Giants to the line, from which they converted repeatedly. Final score in the overtime was Waynesboro 10 to Flucos 2.

The girls played at Louisa Dec. 21. After the break, they will be back in action with games on Jan. 2, Jan. 4, Jan. 7, Jan. 8 and Jan. 11. They will be: at William Monroe, hosting Western, at Albemarle, hosting Monticello and then playing Albemarle at home.

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