At Charlottesville, it’s basically a right of passage. The Black Knights always seem to find a way to get into the Jefferson District Tournament Championship. On Monday, Charlottesville got a good fight out of Fluvanna but a run to close the third quarter and another in the fourth paced the way to a 56-39 win to set up a third game with Western Albemarle in the title bout.
In a game that had 47 fouls and more free throws than anything, both teams tried to keep this fast paced by attacking the basket with Charlottesville’s TC Younger setting the tone early. The Flucos defensive pressure showing up and then passing inside allowed them to an 8-2 run in the first to take a 10-5 lead midway through the first.
“After the stretch with Monticello I said the gloves are off, let’s play man (defense) and just play,” said Fluvanna coach Chad White. “I wanted to play our style. The effort was there but unfortunately down the stretch the execution wasn’t. But the effort was definitely there.”
Charlottesville answered by tying things up at 12-12 going into the second. Fluvanna took a 17-16 lead in the second on a Kia Scott 3-pointer. However Charlottesville responded quickly and a Jessica Antwi 3-pointer gave the Black Knights a two possession lead with 57 seconds left in the half and they went into the break up 24-19.
“We had a good couple of stretches where were able to get into transition, get into our game,” Black Knights coach Jim Daly said. “We knew it would be a battle because we haven’t had an easy quarter with Fluvanna in the nine years I’ve been associated with the team. We knew they’d fight and scrap it was just that, girls laying on both ends for every ball, every rebound. I thought we did a great job of meeting their energy level and still executing our game.”
In the third things were back and forth with Fluvanna paced by a Destini Monroe 3-pointer and the Black Knights getting two big baskets from Taylor Ward including a 3-pointer. With the game at 33-27, Charlottesville closed out the third with a 6-0 run to go up 39-27.
“It’s such a fun team to coach,” Daly said. “The second five if you want to call it that, they bring that energy and they’re really good. Taylor Ward and Kasey Lamb do all the little things. They make smart decisions on when to shoot. They work hard, they box out, they check down low even though they aren’t forwards. They’re playing well beyond their years.”
In the fourth, while much of the game was played at the free throw line, Charlottesville got a 3-pointer from Lamb to make it 44-29 with 5:19 to play.
The Flucos got a pair of and-1’s from Scott and Mya Wright to cut things to 46-37 with 3:10 to play. Fluvanna tried to foul its way back into the contest late but with both teams in foul trouble, it was a futile effort and Charlottesville was able to close out the game at 56-39.
“I’m not a person who likes to keep stopping and going so when we kept getting the fouls I was like ‘ugh.’” Younger said. “But you’re getting a free shot at the basket… that fourth quarter was we’re up but don’t let up, keep the pressure going, keep your foot on the pedal. Fluvanna is a hard team. They come hard and they crash hard.”
On the night, Charlottesville got 14 points from Younger with seven of them coming at the free throw line. Antwi finished with 12 points. Kaniyah Key had eight points. Lamb finished with six.
For Fluvanna, Scott had a game high 18 points with nine coming in the first quarter. Nevaeh Ivory had six points with all of them in the fourth quarter. Wright finished with seven points.
Fluvanna awaits its opponent in Class 3 Region 3C while Charlottesville with play Western Albemarle in the JD finals before breaking off to play in the Class 4 Region 4D tournament.