Knights prevail 72-54 over Flucos

By Duncan Nixon

The Fluvanna County boys basketball team under Coach Heath Bralley made it into the State tournament by finishing second in the Class 3 Region C tournament. There are four regions in each class and the top two teams from each Region play in the State tournament. Region C was matched in the first round with Region D and the Flucos were required to travel to Cave Spring High School which is in the Roanoke area. The Knights were the top team in Region D, with a 24-1 record. Most of the Knights wins were by around 20 points but they split their two games with Northside of Roanoke, with three-point margins in both games, so they were not invincible.

In the first quarter, the Flucos utilized their superior speed and some good outside shooting to shock the Knights severely. Junior guard Bobby Gardner sank two three pointers and had eight points as the Flucos took a 16-10 lead. Senior guard Kobe Edmonds had four and Kenyon Smith and Lance Bruce both scored on lay-ups off excellent passes. The Fluco defense was strong and the Knights were clearly surprised. 

Unfortunately for the Flucos, they lost their shooting touch in the second quarter. The Flucos only managed to score five points. The Knights did not have a great quarter either as the Fluco defense continued to hold. The Flucos led at the half 21-19. However, things looked a little ominous as the Knights’ 6-8 big man started to swat away Fluco lay-up attempts. The Knights averaged about two inches taller, per starter. Flucos do not play anyone over 6-2.

The game opened up quite a bit in the third quarter. The Knights hit a couple of threes early, but the Fluos matched them through the first part of the quarter. Edmonds contributed a three and Gardner nailed some free throws. Half-way through the quarter the Flucos still led 33-30. An Edmonds twisting lay-in upped the Fluco lead back to six at 37-31. From that point on, it was all Cave Spring. In the final three minutes of the quarter, the Flucos were outscored 18-2 and the Knights took a ten-point lead into the final quarter.

Gardner had eleven of the Flucos 14 points in the final quarter including an impressive dunk on a break-away. The Knights kept their offense in gear and scored 23 in the final stanza for 72-54 win in a game that was certainly a lot more even than the final score would suggest. Gardner was the leading scorer for the Flucos with 26 including four three point baskets and six for six from the foul line. Edmonds was next in scoring with 17. The problem was that no one else had more than four. The Flucos have consistently led their opponents in defensive statistics, but Cave Spring could not be rattled. The Flucos turned the ball over two more times than the Knights did and the Flucos only scored four point off turnovers.

The Flucos season was impressive, as few expected a team so lacking in height to go so far. Two of Coach Bralley’s starters this year were seniors — Edmonds and forward Blaise Silverman. Back-up forward Grant Brown also is a senior. The rest of the team will presumably return and the Flucos should be strong again, even though losing Edmonds will hurt, as he was one of the best players the Flucos have had in recent years. 

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