Fluvanna sports photographyTop Fluco boys 66-41

The Fluvanna County boys’ basketball team played evenly with the Louisa Lions for three of the game’s four quarters Friday (Jan. 26). Of course, anyone who has watched the New England Patriots knows that three quarters are not the whole game.

Fluco Coach Jason Davis noted that the Lions are one of the best teams in the state at their school size level. They came onto the Munro Rateau Court at Fluvanna High with only two losses. The Flucos came in with 11. Naturally, the Lions were heavily favored.

In the first quarter the Flucos held their own well against the Lions. Fluco junior forward Andrew Pace started the scoring with a rebound put back. The Lions then ran off seven straight. The quarter ended with the Flucos responding with a five point run for a 7-7 tie. The Fluco scores were a free throw by senior A.J. Gregory, a diving lay-up by senior DaShon Carter and a lay-in off a steal by Pace. The low score at the end of the quarter reflected the strong defense being played by both teams. The Flucos were mostly in a man-to-man defense, while the Lions were in a trapping half court zone.

The second quarter was a disaster for the Flucos. The Lions made a couple of steals and hit a rare three pointer while running off the first nine points of the stanza. Carter made a nice pass to Pace underneath for a lay-in that broke the run but the Flucos were still down seven and they would never be that close again. Louisa followed with a three-point play. Carter made a nice left-handed lay-up for a score of 11-19.

Then Louisa ran off seven in a row and the game was effectively over. In the last half of the quarter, the Flucos got only three points as Gregory made a free throw and Pace got a lay-up from a pass from Gregory. The Lions scored 10 in the same time period, including a three-point heave at the buzzer that banked in. The half time score was 14-36. In the second quarter the Flucos were outscored 7-29.

In the first half, Pace had eight for the Flucos and the rest of the team had only six. Louisa’s trapping defense caused some turnovers and the Lions ran and shot well. Seven points a quarter for the Flucos is not enough offense to win many games.

In the third and fourth quarters the Flucos handled the trapping press much better and played the Lions evenly. In the third quarter, Fluco high scorer Gregory broke out with a seven-point quarter. The Lions’ defense was clearly collapsing on Gregory all game. Gregory and Pace each made three pointers in the quarter and the Lions only outscored the Flucos by one at 14-13.

For all intents and purposes the fourth quarter was a 14-14 tie. The Lions got an extra two points when they were obviously dribbling out the last few seconds and a Lions guard decided to take a last second lay-up that was uncontested. In the fourth quarter, the Flucos got five from Carter, including a late three pointer. Pace got four more points on lay-ups. Michigan Reed got a lay-up and Gregory contributed three points.

After the game, Davis said that his team played hard throughout and did not get down when it fell behind. He was pleased with the play of Pace, who he said has been working hard on his game. Pace has really made a big advance this season, moving up from a maybe starter to a confident finisher around the rim. Seniors Gregory and Carter have consistently played well, but the Flucos do not have the depth of a team like Louisa. In this game, Pace with 15, Gregory with 12, and Carter with 10 had all but four of the Flucos’ points.

The basketball season is winding down. The Flucos traveled to Western Albemarle Jan. 30 and hosted Turner Ashby in a make-up game Jan. 31. On Feb. 2 they host Orange County in the penultimate game of the regular season.

Their final regular season game is at Albemarle High on Feb. 6.