Flucos on defenseThe Fluco boys’ basketball team was 2-4 and the Western Albemarle Warriors were 5-1 coming into the Dec.19 game on the Munro Rateau court at Fluvanna County High School. Solid favorites, the Warriors performed as expected, winning 60-27.

The game started badly for the Flucos. Two quick lay-ups by the Warriors after a couple of Fluco turn-overs caused Coach Jason Davis to call an early time-out. The Warriors followed the time-out with two more lay-ups and two free throws for a 10-0 lead.

The Flucos’ first score was a lay-up by sophomore center Walt Stribling to make the score 10-2. After a Western Albemarle basket, Stribling made a nice pass to senior forward A.J. Gregory for another lay-in and it was 12-4. Unfortunately, the Warriors followed Gregory’s basket with a nine-point run that included three lay-ins and a three-point shot, and the quarter ended 21-4.
In the second quarter, the Flucos found their stride and actually outscored the Warriors 9-8. Western made a thunderous dunk on a back door play to start the quarter, but Gregory then went on a run. He scored a medium range jump shot, a three-point jump shot, and converted both ends of a one and one for seven consecutive points. Seven points in a row by one player is an uncommon accomplishment at all levels of basketball. This closed the gap a little, as it made the score 23-11.

Two three-pointers by Western Albemarle boosted their lead back to 18 points. The quarter ended with a basket by Fluco forward Andrew Ward, who scored on a nice pass from Gregory. The Flucos trailed at the half 29-13, and the game did not get any closer.

The Warriors started the third quarter with a seven-point run. The Flucos broke the run when senior guard Dashon Carter sank two free throws. Gregory had five points in the quarter and freshman forward John Boy Rittenhouse sank a three point shot, but the Flucos were outscored 21-10 and the Warriors took a 50-23 lead into the final quarter.

In the final quarter, both coaches went to their benches and the play was a little disorganized. The Flucos managed only four free throws and the Warriors scored 10 points.

After the game Davis noted that Western Albemarle was a well-coached, disciplined team that was tall and “sneaky quick.” The Warriors’ starting line-up included four players listed at 6 feet 3 inches and they brought a 6-foot 5-inch sophomore off the bench. This is unusual height for a high school team. Davis also noted that his squad was unable to hit the open shot on this night and that certainly contributed to the wide margin of victory for Western Albemarle, but the quickness and size of the Warriors was also a factor.

Gregory led the Flucos with 16 points and Davis commended him for stepping up, as seniors are expected to do.

The Flucos hosted William Monroe High Dec.22. They will host their annual Holiday Bash tournament on Dec. 28-29. The Fluco girls’ team will also be hosting a bash tournament on these dates. After the bash tournament, the Flucos are scheduled to be playing all their tough Jefferson District foes. On Jan. 3 and Jan. 5 they will host Monticello High and Albemarle High. On Jan. 9 they will host Charlottesville and on Jan. 12 they will travel to Orange County.