Free throwThe Flying Flucos girls’ basketball team hosted the Little Giants from Waynesboro in their home opener Tuesday (Nov. 28). Though the girls played hard, they fell in the final minutes 54-59.

The Flucos jumped to an early lead and held it until the middle of the fourth quarter. They led by nine points at 51-42, with approximately four minutes left in the game. Unfortunately, the Flucos had free throw troubles and the Little Giants came on strong, outscoring the Flucos 17-3 in final four minutes.

Every basketball coach laments missed free throws and Fluco Coach Chad White had a lot to lament in this regard after the game. It was just one of those nights for a team that will surely do better from the line as the year progresses. It is hard to win a tightly contested game when the team goes 11-27 from the foul line for the game and 4-11 in the final period. Obviously, better free shooting could have changed the result of the Flucos opener.

The game started well for the Flucos. Senior post player Jemika Johnson opened the scoring by making two free throws. Sophomore forward Mya Wright followed with a three-point shot from the wing for a 5-0 lead. Sophomore Kyia Scott scored on a fast break and the Flucos were off to a 7-0 lead. After a time-out Waynesboro got its footing and started to get back in the game. The quarter ended with the Flucos up 12-9. Freshman guard Destini Monroe contributed a three-point basket for the Flucos.

Waynesboro outscored the Flucos 12-10 in the second quarter to cut the lead at halftime to a single point. The Flucos were led in the second quarter by sophomore guard Nevaeh Ivory who put in six of the Flucos’ 10 points.
In the third quarter, both teams opened up a bit on offense, and after scoring a total of 21 and 22 in the first two quarters, the teams combined for 31 points in the third. The Flucos scored 16 on eight two-point scores. However, they were 0-4 from the line. Ivory again led the Flucos with six points in the quarter. Johnson had four.

The fourth quarter opened with Waynesboro hitting a three-pointer to take its first lead 39-38. Wright immediately responded with her second three-pointer of the game to put the Flucos back in the lead by two. Ivory followed with a three-pointer of her own, and freshman Caitlyn Broderick added two free throws for the Flucos for a seven-point lead.

Waynesboro scored three points to make the score 46-42 and Broderick scored on a rebound, was fouled and made the free throw for a seven-point lead at 49-42. Fluco sophomore point guard Jules Shephard made a steal and took the ball all the way for a lay-up. The Flucos led by nine and looked secure.

Waynesboro did not fold. In two and a half minutes, Waynesboro had tied the score at 52-52 with a minute and a half remaining. All the Flucos scored in the last minute and a half was a lay-up by Ivory and they again were 0-4 from the line.   

After the game White said that his players still need to work on keeping their composure in tight games and he credited Waynesboro for handling the ball well and not being intimidated by the Fluco pressing defense. The Flucos are a very young squad with a starting line-up of one senior and four sophomores. It is surprising to have more than a single sophomore in the starting line-up in high school. Additionally, two freshmen contributed in this game. Broderick was especially strong off the bench with nine points – the second highest for the team. She looks like a good prospect as a back-up post player. Ivory led the team in scoring with 17, but had an off night from the line. Johnson, Shepherd and Wright all contributed six points.

The Flucos beat Turner Ashby Nov. 29 with a score of 41-29. They hosted William Monroe Dec. 1. They traveled to Waynesboro for a rematch on Dec. 5, and they will be on the road on Dec. 8 at Powhatan.