Basketball Team Features Veteran Line-ups

By Duncan Nixon

The leaves are mostly down, the days are getting shorter, and The Flying Fluco winter sports season is about to begin. Longtime girls’ basketball Coach Chad White and first year boys’ basketball Coach Heath Bralley both expect to play up-tempo basketball this year.

Coach White has a strong contingent of seniors returning from a squad that was one win from qualifying for the State tournament in 2019. All-purpose guard Nevaeh Ivory was first team all-District in 2019 and first team all-Region in 2019. She returns for her senior year with her extremely hard driving style. Coach White said that he thinks she is “even stronger” this year. Also returning is senior point guard Jules Shephard who was all-District second team and all-Region second team last season. Mya Wright, a wing player, is the third returning senior who started all of last year. She was all-District honorable mention in 2019.

Coach White notes that Emma Russ, a sophomore, will move into the post position this season. Also contributing will be returnees, junior post player Khyariah Davis-Heinrich and wing player NeVaeh Bishop. Senior guard Maggie Wentz will continue to contribute with outside shooting and Coach White is expecting a good contribution from newcomer Abby Seal, who is another guard.

The girls’ team is expected to play Coach White’s signature pressure defense and patient offence when the fast break is not available. Last season Ivory, Shephard and Wright were especially effective in handling the ball carefully and with a minimum of turnovers.

Coach White notes that the Flucos do play a tough Jefferson District schedule, but the teams that the Flucos most need to beat if they are going to return to post-season play are the other Class 3 teams in the Jefferson District:  Monticello, Western Albemarle and , new this year, Charlottesville.

The boys’ hoop squad was not as successful as the girl’s team in 2019, but Coach Bralley, who was the assistant coach in 2019, has virtually everybody back from 2019. Last season lead guard Kobe Edmonds was only a freshman, but his hard driving and outside shooting made him a Jefferson District honoree despite his youth. Edmonds, the quarterback on the Fluco football team, will no doubt continue to display his substantial athletic ability on the court for Coach Bralley. The Fluco football roster listed Edmonds as 5-10. Also returning is outside shooting forward John Rittenhouse. He is a junior and he too received Jefferson District honors in 2019. In addition to Edmonds, also moving over from the football program are forecourt players and seniors Malachi Hill and Elijah Bullock. They were listed in the football program at 6-2 and 6-4 respectively.

A tough nosed Emory Davis and Keyshawn Fisher, a speedster, are senior guards this year and are expected to continue to contribute at both ends of the floor. Moving up from last year’s JV team is guard Bobby Gardner. Adding height to the roster is newcomer Daniel Campbell, who Coach Bralley noted is “about 6-5.” Another newcomer who will contribute up front is 6-2 freshman Jaden Ferguson who also comes over from football and has garnered a lot of attention for his track prowess. Others to look for are: Ford DeVault,  Keontae Hearns, Chris Wittle and Jamal Opie.

Coach Bralley advises that he expects to play a fast-paced style, utilizing some pressure defense while sharing the ball on offense. He believes his team is talented with a lot of potential.

Both squads open their season on Dec. 3 against Spotsylvania. The boys will be at home and the girls on the road. On Dec. 5 both teams take on Goochland County. This time the boys are away and the girls are at home. On Dec. 10 & 11 the boys host William Monroe and Goochland. On Dec 7, the girls host Madison and then travel to William Monroe on Dec. 10 and to Goochland on Dec. 11.

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