Fluco boys win home opener

By Duncan Nixon


The Fluco boys’ basketball team under first year coach Heath Bralley hosted the Warriors from Spotsylvania High on Dec. 3. The Flucos managed to lead through the first half, but not by much. They were up 19-16 at the end of the first quarter and they were ahead 37-35 at the half. In the first quarter the Fluco led by a small margin most of the way. The highlights included a nice pass from senior forward John Rittenhouse to freshman forward Jaden Ferguson for an easy lay-in and a three-point play by junior forward Christopher Whittle.

The second quarter started with a three-point basket by the Warriors to tie the score at 19-19. Sophomore combo guard Kobe Edmonds made a three-point shot and a three-point play in mid-quarter to give the Flucos a seven point lead. A big defensive play for the Flucos also came in mid-quarter when Ferguson blocked a corner jump shot into the seventh row to a roar from the crowd. The Warriors did battle back though to trail by only two at the half.

The Warriors got a basket on a rebound put back to start the second half and tie the score. However, Coach Bralley put his team into a smothering full court zone press and Flucos made multiple steals and forced multiple turnovers.

The Flucos scored sixteen points in a row to go ahead 53-37, before the Warriors scored again on a three-point shot with three minutes left in the quarter. The Flucos followed with a fifteen-point run and ended the third quarter with a 68-40 lead. The score for the third quarter was an astonishing 31-5. The game was effectively over at that point and Coach Bralley was able to get some playing time for his bench, as seven Flucos scored in the final quarter and the Warriors closed the gap to 20 for a final score of 85-65.

  Coach Bralley commented after the game that he has a very athletic team and explained that he held off on utilizing the full court zone press until the second half to avoid the possibility of the opposing coach working out a half time remedy to the pressure. In upper level college basketball, and in the pros, a sudden unexpected press is not often all that effective, as the players know by then, without input, what to do to counter the pressure. That is often not the case, in the first game of the season, at the high school level.

   The Flucos were led in scoring by Kobe Edmonds who had 23 for the game including ten in the second quarter and nine in the third. He converted on several impressive driving lay-ups and nailed two three-point shots. Second in scoring for the Flucos was Rittenhouse who finished with 19 points with four three-point shots, two of which were back to back in the wild third quarter. Whittle had 11. In addition to these three, Coach Bralley also praised the contribution of freshman point guard Bobby Gardner who settled the offense when the Flucos were running their set offense. The Flucos had ten players break into the scoring column and the team looks to be quick and deep, but not terribly tall.

The Flucos played their second game of the year on Dec. 5 at Goochland. They played at home again on Dec. 10 against William Monroe and on Dec. 11 against Goochland again. On Friday the 13th they will have their third home game in a row hosting the always tough Louisa Lions. The more December games will be on the 18th at Waynesboro, on the20th hosting Orange County and on the 30th at Madison County.

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