Fluvanna Sports PhotographyThe Fluco boys’ basketball team was playing its third game in four nights when it hosted the Orange County Hornets Feb. 2. Although the 44-63 final score of the Flucos’ contest with Orange County makes it look like a blow-out, it was not. The Flucos were in contention throughout and the Hornets only pulled ahead in the final minutes.
The Flucos, who had been making their free throws, suddenly went cold from the line, making only three of 10 in the final quarter, while the Hornets converted their free throws. Playing from behind, the Flucos repeatedly sent the Hornets to the line and the gap widened to the final margin of 19.

The game started with Orange scoring the first five points. The Flucos responded with five of their own. Senior forward A.J. Gregory made a short jump shot and senior guard DaShon Carter followed with a three-point play. In the rest of the quarter the Flucos only managed four points on two jump shots by Gregory. Meanwhile, the Hornets put up 14 points to establish a 10-point lead at the end of the quarter.

The Flucos came alive in the second quarter. It started with two quick baskets by the Flucos. Sophomore guard Cameron Shields and Carter both scored on quick drives to the hoop to make the score 13-19. After an Orange basket, sophomore guard Keyshawn Fisher sunk two free throws. Carter then made a steal and took the ball coast to coast. He was fouled on his lay-up attempt, and he also made two free throws. The Hornets’ lead was down to four. But the team responded with a steal that led to a thunderous dunk.

Shields then made two free throws to bring the margin back to four. Orange took the lead back up to eight, but Fluco freshman John Boy Rittenhouse made the first of his two three pointers for the night and sophomore center Elijah Johnson scored on a put-back as the quarter ended. The Flucos trailed 25-28.

Orange started the scoring in the second half with a basket on a nice in-bounds play. The Flucos responded with five quick points to tie the score at 30-30. The five points came as Gregory hit a three point shot and junior forward Drew Pace scored on a lay-in on an assist by Gregory. Unfortunately, Orange outscored the Flucos 15-9 in the rest of the quarter to build a six-point lead going to the final stanza. The Hornets scored the first five points in the final quarter to go up by 11 and the Flucos were unable to do anything to catch up. Their free throw shooting turned from good to abysmal. This is not a team that is good at playing catch-up. As Coach Jason Davis explained after the game, “We controlled the tempo in the first three quarters, but when we fell behind they took the tempo up.”

Davis noted after the game that he believes his squad has been coming together and that “we played our best basketball of the season this week.” The Flucos do appear to be a stronger and more confident team than they were at the outset. They played the Hornets with two starters on the sideline, but seniors Gregory and Carter have led the team all year, and now some of the underclassmen are starting to make meaningful contributions. Eight Flucos made it into the scoring column in this game – more than usual. Gregory led the scoring again with 11, while Carter put in 10.

The Flucos’ regular season play ended Feb. 6 when they played at Albemarle High. Any play-off games will be on the road.