By Ben Sheridan / Scrimmageplaycva.com contributor
When things aren’t going exactly as planned over the course of the season, a good hard-fought win can flip the script and boost a team’s confidence.
Fluvanna’s boys basketball team got that kind of win Friday night.
The Flucos dropped Orange County 69-58, playing inspired basketball and seemed determined to make sure they left victorious.
“They got the best of us at home, and it was something our kids had wanted to be a little extra up for, we had a great practice yesterday and I think it carried over to the game today,” said Fluvanna coach Heath Bralley.
That energy showed with both teams showing a lot of toughness from the start, and the game was very back-and-forth throughout the first quarter. The difference in the quarter however was perimeter shooting, where the Flucos knocked down two threes and the Hornets hit none. With both teams playing good defense as well, that shooting would help the Flucos take a 13-10 lead at the end of the first.
In the second, it seemed like the Flucos were starting to get into a groove, as they took a four-point lead late in the quarter. That’s when Orange’s perimeter shooting struck in a big way, as they knocked down three straight threes, Jaylen Alexander hitting two and Sihle Mthethwa hitting the other. Alexander ended the night with 15 points and Mthethwa with 17 points to lead the Hornets. This surge helped Orange take a 27-26 lead into the break, and the Flucos knew that they were going to be in for a tough one if they wanted to earn a win.
“We had been putting in work all week at practice and looking forward to this game — we knew we needed a W and we knew we needed to play strong in the second half,” said Fluvanna’s Kobe Edmonds, who had a big night with 22 points.
A strong second half is exactly what the Flucos had. They were pressuring on defense and getting steals, and turning them into easy transition points and free throw opportunities. The Flucos as a team attempted 38 free throws during the game. Edmonds took over as well, scoring 11 points in the quarter. With the Flucos getting turnovers and transition buckets at the rate they did, they had the momentum and regained a lead at 45-40.
Once they took the lead, Fluvanna never gave it away in the fourth. They got some big shots while still finding ways to earn opportunities at the charity stripe. Bobby Gardner and Isaac Rivera both had big fourth-quarters and games for the Flucos. Gardner ended with 13 points, and Rivera with 11.
Fluvanna has a long week next week, starting with a matchup with Goochland on Monday, while the Hornets will host Monticello for senior night Tuesday.