Fluco boys fall to Albemarle, top Orange County: End regular season 14-7

By Duncan Nixon

The Fluvanna boys basketball team ended its regular season with games against two of the top teams in the region. Albemarle and Orange County are significantly bigger schools than Fluvanna County High School, but the Flucos held their own.

The Patriots of Albemarle High came to Fluvanna on Feb. 8 with a 16-2 record. Flucos battled the Patriots evenly through the first three quarters. Junior guards Bobby Gardner and Lance Bruce each scored seven in the first quarter as the Flucos took a 19-18 lead. The Flucos cooled off a little in the second quarter and the Patriots edged ahead 30-29 at the half. The Flucos won the third quarter by a point, so the score was tied at 43 apiece going to the final quarter. After the game, Coach Heath Bralley commented that he thought those might have been the best three quarters his team has played all season.

Unfortunately for the Flucos, Albemarle suddenly found the range on three pointers. They sank four in the first four minutes of the quarter to open an 11 point lead. The Flucos pressed hard to close the gap in the final four minutes, but the Patriots were too good to be rattled and they coasted to a 75-60 win. The Flucos do not live or die on their long-distance shooting, but they are normally pretty good from the outside. In this game, the long ball deserted them, as they made only 4 of 27 from beyond the arc. In contrast, the Patriots were 6 for 13. The Flucos continued their strong defense, forcing 11 turnovers while committing only 4. 

Bruce and Gardner led the Flucos in scoring with 19 and 18 respectively. Senior point guard Kobe Edmonds contributed 12 and junior Clayton Cannady came off the bench to add eight. Gardner led in rebounds with 11 and had three steals.

On Feb. 10, the Flucos headed up Rt. 15 to take on the Hornets of Orange County. The Hornets came in at 14-5 and they were at home. This was more of a defensive battle and the Flucos play very good defense. The Flucos edged ahead early and held on for the win. The Flucos shut down the Hornets in the first quarter to lead 15-7. They led 26-21 at the half and 41-34 after three. The Hornets closed the gap in the fourth quarter, but the Flucos held on to win 53-49.

The Flucos were again on the right side of the turnover stats, as they forced 19 and committed 12. They had 15 points off turnovers to seven for Albemarle. The Flucos also had 10 steals to five for the Hornets. The Fluco scoring was very balanced. Edmonds had 12. Gardner and Bruce each contributed 10 and Junior forward Kenyon Smith posted eight and led in rebounds with eight.

The Flucos ended the regular season with a 14-7 record. They are playing well at the right time as they are in the post season, but due to some teams still having make-ups to play, the post season schedule is not yet set. At the beginning of the season, Coach Bralley said of his team, “we don’t have a lot of height, but we are really quick. We will be in the hunt.” He clearly knew what he was talking about.

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