Emory Davis for the FlucosThe Flying Flucos girls’ and boys’ basketball teams hosted the annual Holiday Bash Tournament Dec. 28-29. Both teams scored back-to-back victories. The girls’ team crushed Buckingham County 53-31 and then crushed the Bruton Panthers from Williamsburg by a similar score of 53-26.

The Fluco boys’ team won by much closer scores. In the tournament’s first round, they topped William Monroe High 52-49 and in the second round they also narrowly defeated Bruton 48-46.

The Fluco boys’ team took to the floor against Bruton at about 7 p.m. Friday. Coach Jason Davis said that the first five minutes of play was the team’s “best five minutes of the season.” The Flucos ran to a 20-5 lead before the Panthers could respond with a nine-point run to end the quarter at 20-14.

Bruton started the scoring with a three-point basket. Then it was all Flucos for five minutes. Senior A.J. Gregory hit a three-point shot and junior Andrew Pace followed with two strong lay-ups, the second on a nice pass from Gregory.

Senior guard DaShon Carter then made a steal and went coast to coast for a lay-up to make it 9-3. A rebound basket by the Panthers broke the Flucos run, but only minimally. Pace scored his third basket of the quarter on a drive, and Gregory hit his second three pointer for a 14-5 lead. Carter then hit Gregory inside for a lay-up and senior center Caden Koslowski converted on two free throws. The last points of Fluvanna’s 20-2 run came when Gregory made a steal and went all the way for a lay-up.

As Davis noted, the Panthers were a veteran team with four seniors and a junior starting, and it was inevitable that they would make a run. With nine straight points at the end of the quarter they got back in at 20-14.

The second quarter was about even. Sophomore forward John Rittenhouse had five of the Flucos’ 11 points. The Flucos led at half 31-26. The third quarter was an even 12-12 with Pace getting five points.

The fourth quarter started badly for the Flucos. The Panthers found the range and sank two quick three pointers and scored on a steal, leaving the Flucos to trail, at 45-46, for the first time since the opening basket. However, Koslowski responded, scoring off an offensive rebound, and the Flucos were back in the lead 47-46 with 4:37 left.

For the next four minutes of play the tension on the court and in the gym was palpable. Both teams moved the ball around at a deliberate pace looking for the right open shot. Both teams found shots that looked good, but they would not go in. The Flucos got two one-and-one free throw opportunities, but missed the front end both times. With only one minute remaining, the Flucos called time-out. After the time-out, they worked for an open shot rather than try to sit on a one-point lead. They found an open jumper in the lane, but it missed.

Rather than call a time-out, the Panthers hustled down court and got off an open three-point attempt. It missed and Carter was fouled as time ran down to inside 10 seconds. He hit one of two from the line. Bruton missed again and the game was over. Only one point was scored in the final four and a half minutes of play.

In this game, Gregory led the Flucos with 16, Pace had 15 and Koslowski had eight. In the Flucos’ win over William Monroe High on Thursday, Gregory led the scoring with 19. Sophomore guard Emory Davis and Carter each had seven. The Flucos held William Monroe to four free throws in the fourth quarter, winning the quarter 7-4, and winning the game by three points. The Fluco boys’ team is now 4-6. As Davis noted after the game his squad was 0-10 at this point last year.

Playing at 5 p.m. Friday, the girls’ team jumped to an 18-6 first quarter lead and the Panthers were never able to get close the rest of the way. The Flucos sank four three-point shots in the quarter, with freshman guard Destini Monroe hitting two of them. Six Flucos scored in the first quarter, evidencing the fact that Coach Chad White has a deep squad this season.

The Flucos extended their lead by only two in the second quarter, and they led 27-13 at the half. Throughout the game, the Fluco point total was consistently double the Panthers’ score. In the third quarter, the Flucos outscored Bruton 15-6, with five players scoring. In the fourth quarter, both coaches went to their benches as the outcome of the game was not in doubt. The Fluco pressing defense was too much for Bruton to handle and although the Panthers may have had a slight size advantage, the Flucos were much too quick and too well organized for the Panthers.

Monroe led the scoring for the Flucos with 13 points, hitting the two three pointers early and converting seven free throws the rest of the way. Sophomore guard Nevaeh Ivory was next in scoring with nine and was instrumental in creating fast breaks that led to easy scores. Senior center Jemika Johnson and sophomore forward Mya Wright each scored seven points and they did yeoman’s work on the boards.

After the game, White said that he was pleased with his team’s energy in executing the pressing defense that dominated the game, and with the team’s play in transition.

In Thursday’s win over Buckingham County, the Fluco girls were led in scoring by Ivory with 15 and sophomore guard Jules Shepherd, who had 13. The girls’ team is now 5-5 for the season.