Fluco boys open post season play by trouncing Rustburg 75-50

By Duncan Nixon

The Flying Flucos boys basketball team was too quick and too athletic for the Rustburg High Red Devis who they hosted on Feb. 19 in the opening round of the Virginia High School League post season. They broke to an early lead and were never seriously challenged. Senior point guard Kobe Edmonds had his long ball working for the Flucos as he drained six from beyond the arc. Three of these came in the third quarter when the Flucos blew the game open, running to a 22-point lead. 

The Flucos jumped to a big lead early, scoring the first 11 points of the game. Rustburg was getting some decent opportunities but could not convert early. The Red Devils finally got on the board at the end of the quarter to trail 13-6 at the buzzer. Edmonds had seven and junior guard Bobby Gardner had four.

The outcome of the game was never really in doubt as the Flucos stretched their lead at halftime to 33-14. In the second quarter, Edmonds had seven again and Gardner contributed six. Junior forward Blaise Silverman had two baskets, one on a nice pass from Edmonds.

In the third quarter, the Flucos sank four threes, three by Edmonds and one by junior guard Lance Bruce. In mid-quarter, Junior forward Kenyon Smith came out of nowhere for a thunderous block of a lay-up that the Rustburg player probably thought was going to be uncontested. 

In the fourth quarter, Coach Heath Bralley was able to give his reserves some valuable playing time. In the post season, back-ups often don’t get much court time. However, Bralley was not reluctant to make the move, even though he noted that “those three guards (Edmonds, Gardner and Bruce) are hard to take out.” He further noted that he believes that his team “has a lot of depth.” In the fourth quarter, freshman forward Ben Denby, sophomore guard Chazz Barksdale-White and junior forward Mason Blackburn all got into the scoring column.

Edmonds had one of those games where the opposition hardly knows how to handle him. He slipped in and out of defenses and suddenly there he was open at the arc, and getting his shot off quickly. He led the scoring for the Flucos with a steady, almost surprising 32 points. Gardner is more flamboyant. When he is open on the break a powerful dunk makes for oohs and aahs from the crowd. He contributed 12 and Bruce chipped in with eleven. Silverman had six. Smith was the leading rebounder with 8 and the Flucos continued to dominate on defense, forcing 19 turnovers and scoring 23 off those turnovers.   

Despite the ease with which the Flucos won this game, Bralley was not entirely happy after the game. He said he told his players that, as they move on, they may not be able to get away with some of the defensive lapses he saw against the Red Devils. It was clear that the Red Devils were basically not in the Fluco’s league. They were a last team in type of opponent. On Feb. 22, the Flucos traveled to the valley to take on Wilson Memorial High. 

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