By Ben Sheridan / Scrimmageplaycva.com contributor
Orange County girls basketball needed the win they snagged Monday night and it was obvious from the postgame jubilation.
“I mean, it’s awesome for the program,” said Orange coach Corey Edmonds. “When I took the job, I knew it was going to be really tough, but I was optimistic and I just told the girls from day one that it’s baby steps, and we’ve got to get better every single day”.
That mindset helped the Hornets notch their first win of the season and first Jefferson District win since January of 2017, beating Fluvanna 57-52.
From the first quarter on, it was obvious it was going to be a back-and-forth contest.
But it was Orange who jumped out to the early lead, starting the game with a 6-0 run while taking advantage of turnovers and breaking the Fluco press. Maggie Johnson helped lead the charge for the Hornets in the first, tallying six of her 12 total points in the quarter. The Hornets were able to get a lot of good looks at the basket in the transition, which helped them jump out to a large early lead.
The Flucos weren’t ready to let Orange pull away, starting with a late first quarter push and then a 10-0 run to begin the second quarter. Alana Carter-Johnson played a large role in the comeback, scoring 14 of her 20 points in the quarter. Another scoring leader for the Flucos was Taty Turner, who had five of her 13 points in the first half.
But shortly after that run, the Hornets began hitting some midrange shots to help push them back in front, giving themselves a 35-30 lead at the halftime break. It was Olivia Sciabbarrasi who seemed to come up with some of these big shots and still be a weapon in the transition game, as she put up 13 of her 21 points in the first half for Orange.
“We run a whole lot at practice and it’s where coach says it’s for us to get better, and so it really pays off,” said Sciabbarrasi.
The third quarter saw more of the same from both teams, as neither team could pull away from the other. But in the fourth, as the Hornets locked down on defense and hit some big shots from both the midrange and the perimeter to give them as much as a nine-point lead that the Flucos could never quite fight their way back from. Once the final buzzer sounded, there was a well-deserved celebration for a Hornets team that has seen more than their fair share of struggles in recent years.
“Just getting to know these girls, and they showed up every day and worked hard and gave everything they had, it’s a pleasure to come to practice every day and working with these young ladies, I couldn’t ask for a better group,” said Edmonds.
For the Flucos, their next game puts them back on the road at Staunton on Thursday January 7. As for the Hornets, just before the game, the Orange County School Board decided to put a pause on all in-person learning and athletics until January 15, so they’ll have to wait until then to figure out what’s next.