“I’m just excited for the kids to have the win in the first home game [in the new gym]. I thought we got better as a team as the game went on,” said FCHS head coach Munro Rateau.
The Flucos never trailed in the game but escaped three ties. Liberty started pressing with Fluvanna leading 36-35 early in the third quarter. At the same time, FCHS switched to marking sharp-shooting Xavier Colbert on defense.
Taking away Colbert as an option also hurt getting another LHS guard, Aaron Patterson, open. The two scored 23 of the Eagles’ 28 first half points. In the second half they scored 13 points.
“We did a better job defensively (during the stretch) and kept those two guys from shooting threes on us. Golly they can shoot the lights out. We tried to take [Colbert] away from them and make [Patterson] have to make all their points. I thought we did a good job making sure he didn’t get good looks at the basket,” said Rateau.
With the FCHS defense shutting down the Liberty offense, the Fluco offense took off. After the Liberty press set in at 36-35, Fluvanna went on a 15-4 run spanning 5:30 between the end of the third and beginning of the fourth.
“It was getting tight there in the second half then we switched up to a Diamond-and-1 on their best scorer. We shut him down in the second half. We picked up the defensive intesity and we still continued to execute our offense,” said Fluco point guard Dorian Butler.
It was near easy cruising the rest of the way for Fluvanna to cap off its first win in the new high school.
“It was a good feeling winning the first game in the new gym. It’s a great feeling to start the season,” said Butler.
The home crowd rocked when Vinny Agee’s half-court pass to Jalen Harrison ended with a two-handed slam midway through the final frame. Agee finished with 13 points while Harrison put in 11. Trevonne Bradley ended with 10 points. Agee lead the team with eight rebounds.
“Everybody did their part,” said Butler who led the team with 15 points and four assists. “We had a lot of players get a lot of buckets, the scoring was spread out.”
“We tried to execute some set plays and I thought for the most part we did a good job,” said Rateau.
In the first half Fluvanna led by eight twice, including a 19-11 in the second quarter. Liberty would end on a 17-9 run behind four 3-pointers between Patterson and Colbert. Liberty finished the half with a layup at the buzzer to tie the game 28-28.
Next up for FCHS is Cumberland on Dec. 5. The game is set for 7:30 p.m. in Palmyra.
LHS 11 17 11 12 – 51
FCHS 14 14 16 23 – 67
LHS – Colbert-17 (4 3-pt), Patterson-16 (3 3-pt), Lindsay-10
FCHS – Butler-15, Agee-13, Harrison-11, Bradley-10
LHS – 2-5 (40%)
FCHS – 14-21 (62%)