Fluco boys start strong, hang on to top Orange 53-48

By Duncan Nixon

The Fluco boys’ basketball squad outscored the Orange County Hornets 16-9 in the first quarter on Jan. 29, and Orange never led the rest of the way. Maurice D’Alessandra was hot for the Flucos as he hit two three-point shots in the middle of the quarter and then sank three free throws after being fouled on a three-point shot. His nine points in the first quarter equaled Orange’s total for the quarter. The Flucos also had a three pointer by Kobe Edmonds and four points from John Rittenhouse in the quarter.

The second quarter was a low scoring affair as both teams were having trouble getting off makeable shots. Xavier Copeland had two baskets for the Flucos. One came on a steal and a drive for a lay-up and the other came on a lay-up off a nice pass by D’Alessandra. Both teams scored eight in the quarter for a half-time score of 24-17.

In the third quarter, the Flucos continued to have problems finding their stride. The Hornets picked up their game somewhat and they outscored Fluvanna 12-7 to cut the margin down to two points at 31-29. D’Alessandra had another three-point basket for the Flucos and Rittenhouse and Copeland both contributed two points.

The pace of play heated up significantly in the final quarter, as both teams put up more points than in any previous quarter. The quarter started well for the Flucos, as Rittenhouse scored on a layup, Edmonds made a steal and went coast to coast for a lay-in. Orange countered with a lay-up and Rittenhouse nailed a three-point shot. The Flucos were back in the lead by seven, at 38-31. Copeland scored a basket and a free throw, while Orange recorded two two-point baskets and the score was 41-35 with three minutes left. D’Alessandra made his fourth three point shot and Copeland made a steal and fed Rittenhouse, who was fouled and made two free throws. The Hornets refused to go away, sinking a couple of three pointers in the final minutes to cut the Fluco lead to three points twice. However, the Flucos handled the pressure well as D’Alessandra, Rittenhouse and Copeland all converted clutch free throws, as the clock wound down, to preserve the Fluco lead.

After the game, Coach Heath Bralley commented that his team played very well in spurts, but was not as consistent as he would like. He was very enthused by the energy and defense contributed by Copeland. Copeland was in the face of the Hornets top gun all game. The Flucos won their first match-up with Orange, but in that game the Orange star guard scored 51. Copeland held him to 20 in this game. High scorers for the Flucos in this game were D’Alessandra and Rittenhouse with 18 and 17 respectively. Copeland pitched in with eleven points and some outstanding defense and rebounding. Point guard Kobe Edmonds had a quiet night in scoring, but he is always a steady hand throughout the game. It was announced before the game that Edmonds, a junior, has passed the 1,000 point mark for his career.

At the time of this article the Fluco boys were 8-3 on the season. They played Charlottesville on Feb. 1 and Orange again on Feb. 3. They finish up this abbreviated season on Feb. 5 against Monticello.

The situation with regard to postseason play is still unclear.


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