Fluco boys win tight battle over Orange County 75-70

By Duncan Nixon

The Fluco boys’ basketball team hosted and topped the Hornets from Orange County on Jan. 5. The final score differential of five points was one of the biggest margins of the game. The Fluco led most of the way, but whenever it looked like they might pull away, the Hornets either scored a couple quick two-pointers or nailed a three. All four quarters were close. The Flucos outscored the Hornets 20-18 in the first and fourth quarters. The Hornets won the second quarter by a point and the Flucos won the third quarter by two points.

In the opening quarter, the Flucos were led by senior guard Chazz Barksdale-White who nailed three three-point baskets. Sophomore forward Sean Tyler had five in the quarter and sophomore Sam Loving came off the bench to score four, with one impressive basket on a soaring rebound put-back.

In the second quarter, the Flucos were led by senior guard JaTayveon Lucas who recorded the Fluco first six points of the quarter. Lucas also drew praise after the game from Coach Heath Bralley for his intensive defensive play. Barksdale-White had four in the quarter. The Flucos took a 34-33 lead into half-time.

In the second half, the Fluco received a major contribution from junior forward Benny Denby. Denby scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, all on the inside, scoring on rebounds and lay-ins as a result of fast-breaks and some good passing. Tyler also contributed 13 in the second half and did some yeoman’s work on the boards. He also was instrumental in assisting the Fluco guards in solving the press that the Hornets wouldn’t abandon. Barksdale-White, who is listed at 5-10, thrilled the crowd in the final quarter with a dunk on a break-away. That basket gave the Flucos a ten-point lead, their biggest of the game. 

But, Orange came back on the strength of a couple of three-point shots. So, the outcome was not certain. With the Flucos leading by only three points and less than a minute remaining, Lucas twice went to the foul line for two free throws. He calmly made three of four. As Coach Bralley noted after the game, the difference between winning and losing often comes down to pressure free throws as the clock is winding down.

The Flucos’ scoring in the game was fairly well balanced. Barksdale-White led with 21 points. Three others were in double figures. Tyler had 18, Denby 14, on 7 for 10 shooting, and Lucas 11. The Flucos shot 50 percent from beyond the arc, an impressive accomplishment, and snared 28 defensive rebounds, as opposed to 21 by the taller Hornets.

The Hornets came into this game with a better record than the Flucos, but their pre-Jefferson District play opponents may have been a bit softer than Fluvanna’s. With Jefferson District play now under way, the Flucos traveled to Charlottesville on Jan. 9, and host Goochland County on Jan. 12. A non-Jefferson District game is scheduled for Jan. 15 when the Flucos host a powerful Turner Ashby squad. The next day the Flucos travel to Monticello High School. On Jan. 19 and Jan. 23 the Flucos will host Louisa County and Western Albemarle.

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