“When we play good, we are pretty good,” said FCHS head coach Munro Rateau. “When we decide, ‘Get a big lead and take a break,’ we aren’t too good.”
The Flucos scored 16 in the first quarter, more than they scored against Western the entire first half. FCHS held a 16-9 advantage entering the second frame.
FCHS stepped up the defense while exploding on offense in the second eight minutes. Fuqua scored its lone field goal in the quarter with seven seconds remaining. The Falcons did make 10 free throws. Fluvanna made nine field goals while also making six free throws en route to the 24-point outburst.
“We got some guys that can score. When we ran the offense, we got the shots where we wanted to. If we can continue to do that, we got guys that can score,” said Rateau.
“I think we really worked the ball around,” said sophomore Vinny Agee. “We reversed the ball and got people open for the shots and they made the shots they needed to make.”It wasn’t all easy going for FCHS. Fuqua capitalized on a sluggish Fluco start in the third quarter. The Falcons went on a 13-3 run that ended with just under three minutes to go. The run pulled the game to 43-33, still a Fluvanna advantage.
Then Jalen Harrison and the boys stretched it back out.
RyQuan Washington made a running jumper in traffic. Then a minute later Dorian Butler hit a jumper a step inside the arch. Agee also made a 2-pointer then Harrison finished the quarter off with a six-point run of his own, including back-to-back dunks 18 seconds apart. All told, FCHS finished the frame on a 12-0 run.
“We pushed the ball. That’s our game. When we played Western, we were walking the ball up the court,” said Harrison. “We pushed the ball … [The Falcons] were out of breath.”
Fluvanna was paced by Agee with 22 points and nine rebounds. Harrison finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Dashon Tibbs had eight rebounds along with two points.
Next up for FCHS (8-1, 0-1 Jefferson District) is former and future district foe Orange. The Hornets won their opening round game against Spotsylvania.
This is the second Fluvanna Christmas Bash championship game appearance for the Flucos in as many chances. Last year Fluvanna lost to John Handley before beating the Judges in the Region II, Div. 3 championship in February. Previously the bash was played as a non-tournament, two-day event.
“We are just a work in progress. We did some good things tonight.” Rateau continued, “It is just a learning process.”
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. in Palmyra.