Fluco boys’ basketball expected to be fast and aggressive

By Duncan Nixon

Fluco boys’ basketball Coach Heath Bralley said he expects his team to be ‘in the hunt” again in Jefferson District play. The team made it to the Region playoffs last year. It returns some serious players and Bralley expects that a couple of players will be stepping up from last season’s level of contribution. The Flucos had a three headed backcourt of outstanding players last season and two of those three are returning for their senior year. While Kobe Edmonds has moved on, Bobby Gardner was First Team All-Jefferson District last year and All-Region and All-State in Class 3 Region C. He is expected to continue to excel with his outstanding speed and quickness. Lance Bruce was a top-notch shooter last season and was named to the second team Jefferson District Honorable mention All-Region. These two will make a powerful duo.

Coach Bralley has gone with a three-guard offense quite a bit in the past. If he goes that route again this season he will have a host of candidates for that third guard spot, a fact that contributes to his belief that the squad will be deeper this year. Two returnees from last season, who got valuable playing time are Tyler Coleman and Jazz Barksdale-White. Coleman is a senior ball handler and Barksdale-White a junior defender. Also competing for playing time will be junior Dajuan Robinson and senior Issac Lewis who is small, but showed some outstanding speed on the football team with a number of kick returns for touchdowns.

In the forecourt, Balley expects that sophomore Benny Denby will be a major contributor. As a 6’4 freshman Denby did not get a lot of playing time last season. However, Brally said that Denby is now pushing 6’7 and has made some excellent progress in the off-season. Another solid contributor in the forecourt will be senior Kenyon Smith, who got quite a bit of playing time last year and who is stronger this year. Another forecourt contributor will be junior JaTayveon Lucas.

Bralley notes that the Jefferson District is highly competitive and that any team will probably be a threat. He notes that Albemarle is loaded and that Western Albemarle and Charlottesville High will be tough, as usual. 

The Fluco boys play their first three games on the road. Their home opener is on Dec. 8 against Chancellor High. On Dec. 12 they host Buckingham County, and Dec. 16 they will play Orange County at home.

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