Flucos will be running, pressing

By Duncan Nixon

The Fluvanna County High School’s boys’ basketball Coach Heath Bralley said that he expects that his team will be playing up tempo this season with a lot of running and pressing. A couple of forecourt contributors from last season have graduated and one of the team’s top scores from a year ago has transferred out. The team does not have a lot of height, but it does have some very talented back court players and Bralley described a lot of his squad as “hard working.”

As of the time of this article the starting line-up was not certain, but Bralley suggested that it might likely be as follows. Guards, Kobe Edmonds, Bobby Gardner and Lance Bruce, and forwards, Blaise Silverman and Kenyon Smith. None of these players is taller than 6-1. A three guard and two forward alignment is quite common now at all levels of basketball now that the three-point shot has become so important.

Although lack of size may be a problem, there is some serious talent here. Anyone who has followed Fluco basketball knows that Edmonds is in his fourth year as a back court starter. Bralley describes him as “the rock” of the team, very smart, very talented and very experienced. Edmonds can hit the three-point shot and is a ferocious driver to the basket. Gardner is back with the Flucos after a year at Fork Union Military Academy. He has good size for a guard, has a good shot and is described by Bralley as “very quick.” These two may be a force on defense forcing quite a few turnovers.

The third starting guard will probably be Bruce, a junior who got serious playing time in the shortened season last year. Smith at forward is a junior who got a lot of playing time last year. Silverman may be the tallest starter at 6-1, and he too got important playing time last season. Bralley has a 13-player squad and there is some height and size that will be available off the bench.

Mason Blackburn is around 6-2 and is described as very physical. A player with a lot of potential is 6-4 freshman Benny Denby. Grant Brown is also expected to be a force off the bench in forecourt. He may only be about 6-0, but he was second team All-Jefferson District as an offensive and defensive lineman. He is expected to be able to throw some weight around. Backcourt back-ups will include, Tyler Coleman, who Bralley describes as “a natural shooter,” Clayton Cannady, a physical junior who is around 5-10. Quanir Payne and J.J. Glasscock are hard workers, while Chazz Barksdale-White also works hard and he is only a sophomore.

Bralley expects that the usual suspects will be his team’s major competition in the coming season. He mentioned Albemarle, Western Albemarle and Charlottesville. However, he noted that he expects to be “in the hunt.”

The regular season for the Flucos started on Dec. 1 with a game at Waynesboro. The home opener will be on Friday Dec. 3 against non-district opponent Chancellor High. On Dec. 7 the Fluco boys travel to Chancellor High and on Dec. 14 they play their first Jefferson District game, hosting Charlottesville High. After that they play four non-conference games, and they don’t have another Jefferson District contest until the new year.

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