Fluco girls win squeaker in overtime

By Duncan Nixon, Correspondent

In a toughly contested, seesaw battle, the Fluco girls, behind junior guard Nevaeh Ivory and freshman post player Khamare Steppe, managed a well-deserved two point win in overtime Tuesday (Dec. 4) over Turner Ashby. The final score was 62-60.
Ivory scored seven of the Flucos’ nine points in overtime, including the two deciding free throws.

The game, which was played on the Fluco home court, began with the Flucos running off to an 11-2 lead. Ivory had five points in the period and four other Flucos put up points. A surprise press by Turner Ashby late in the period was successful in creating a couple of turnovers and the Knights closed the gap to 12-8 at the end of the quarter.

In the second quarter, the teams demonstrated how evenly matched they were as each scored 14 points. Steppe had a big quarter coming through with three inside baskets and a free throw for seven. Ivory again had a five point quarter. The Flucos led at half 26-22.

The third quarter was not the Flucos’ best. They managed to score only eight points and fell behind 34-37. Ivory and Steppe each had a basket and sophomore and junior wings players NeVaeh Bishop and Mya Wright each had two free throws. In addition, Ivory picked up her fourth foul and had to go to the bench.

Despite the fact that their free throws were not going in (19 for 44 overall), the Flucos rallied strongly in the fourth quarter. Bishop drained two important three point shots and junior guard Jules Shepherd had a standout quarter with seven points and two crucial fierce rebounds at the end of the quarter, despite the fact that she is one of the shortest players on the court. With 15 seconds left in regulation, the Flucos took a 53-50 lead when Wright grabbed a rebound and was fouled. She made one of two for the three point lead. Unfortunately for the Flucos, the Knights’ point guard managed to get open and she swished a three pointer to send the game to overtime.

On the first play of the overtime, Shepherd fouled out. The Knights hit a three point shot for a two point lead halfway through the overtime, but Ivory made a strong drive for a tying basket. Turner Ashby went up by two on a driving basket and Ivory responded to tie the game again. The Flucos made one of two free throws on two occasions to go up 60-58.

But with 15 seconds left, Turner Ashby made two for two from the line to tie the score. Ivory was fouled on the inbound and made one of two from the line for the lead. On the second free throw, Wright made a hard play for the rebound, forcing it off a Knight player and giving the Flucos the ball back. Ivory was immediately fouled again. She made one of two for the 62-60 lead.
The Knights managed to get the ball to their point guard for a desperate three that could have won the game. However, Bishop made a clean block of the shot and the game was over.

Ivory played most of the fourth quarter and all of the overtime with four fouls. After the game, Coach Chad White noted that he left Ivory in because he was confident that his veteran shooting guard knew how to avoid drawing a disqualifying foul.
Ivory led the Flucos in scoring with an impressive 23 points, Steppe had 13 and Shepherd and Bishop nine and eight respectively. Steppe had 14 rebounds for a double-double, Wright had nine rebounds. The Fluco girls are now 2-2 and are about to start their Jefferson District play. On Dec. 7 they hosted Orange County and Dec. 11 they traveled to Albemarle High. On Dec. 12 they are at Madison County. On Dec. 14 they host Powhatan and then travel to Charlottesville Dec. 18.

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