Coming off a loss to Albemarle and with a quality out of district opponent in E.C. Glass due on Wednesday, Charlottesville did all the little things right and did not look past Fluvanna County to try and keep pace with the Patriots in the Jefferson District standings. Behind a great performance defensively in the first half and an excellent night overall shooting from beyond the arc, the Black Knights were able to get out in front early and hold on in the third quarter when the Flucos tried to make their run for a 55-40 victory.
“Honestly it was all about depth, we use 11 girls on any given night and we all can shoot so if you give us a shot, all of us, we’re going to take it,” said Charlottesville guard T.C. younger. “Our guards had great ball pressure on defense and so that helped a lot with not having to battle a lot down low and keeping it a 30-28 kind of game.”
Charlottesville built back-to-back seven point leads in both of the first quarters with Andrea Lefkowitz scoring six in the first and Younger hitting a pair of three’s in the second to lead the way offensively. On the other side of the floor, turnovers and team rebounding helped in large point to make it a 26-12 advantage at the break.
“We talked about it at halftime,” Charlottesville coach Jim Daly said. “We held them to 12 points and we know how talented Fluvanna is so we’re probably not going to be able to do that again, they’ll make a run. But we just had to be calm, keep playing our game. I thought we did a good job of not turning the ball over to make things worse, create a meltdown. They made a run but we answered with big shots and rebounded well with a smaller lineup.”
The second half saw Fluvanna’s offense come to life with Nevaeh Ivory attacking the basket with success and Keke Davis stepping up on the offensive and defensive glass while chipping in a pair of baskets. The Flucos doubled their offensive production from the first half in just four minutes into the third quarter.
“Offensively we’ve had these kinds of nights where its hard to get started,” said Fluvanna coach Chad White. “All you can do is keep making stops. Even with the way Charlottesville hit their three’s, 26 points? I’ll take that. The problem was our 12. The second half we got our shots to fall. When you’re watching your defense make great close outs and they’re still hitting their shots, well there’s not a lot you can do there so credit to Charlottesville.”
And that was the problem. Charlottesville stayed hot from beyond on the arc. While the Fluvanna controlled the pace and flow of the third to cut into the deficit, 3-pointers from Younger, Tati Allen and Camiyah Brown allowed the Black Knights to stay up by 10 heading into the fourth quarter.
“Honestly, our defense brought our offense tonight,” said Charlottesville guard Carmella Jackson. “That was a big part.”
The final frame was even with Ivory scoring six of her team’s nine points in the fourth but Jackson pouring in six of in the same period and the Black Knights hitting enough of their free throws to maintain a comfortable lead down the stretch.
“It was all mental,” Jackson said. “Keeping things at 0-0, it keeps the energy the same as in the beginning.”
On the night, four different Charlottesville players finished in double figures with Younger leading the way with 13 points, Brown netting 11 and Jackson and Lefkowitz each chipping in 10 points.
For Fluvanna, Ivory led all scorers with 20. Jules Shepherd and Davis each had seven points. The trio combined for 34 of their team’s 40 points.
“When Nevaeh gets the ball in the middle of the court on a press she makes great decisions, finds other players and gets us going,” White said. “But we just have to shoot with more confidence. We told Nevaeh and Jules to keep attacking the basket and they did. We just have to hit a few more shots when they penetrate and kick out.”
The Black Knights host a 1-loss Hilltoppers team today at 5:30 p.m. The Flucos get a week off before hosting Monticello next Tuesday.