- Blue Ridge School
- Buckingham County
- Community Sports
- Covenant School
- Fishburne Military
- Fluvanna County
- Fork Union Military
- Louisa County
YaYa Anderson has made some thrilling plays in his storied career at Fluvanna County High.
But the rebound of his own missed free throw and the ensuing tough bucket with 44 seconds to play against Charlottesville Thursday night? The basket that put the Flucos up by a point and eventually became the gamewinner that launched the Flucos into the state tournament? This one was the definition of clutch.
“I just wish he would’ve made the free throw and not taken the chance of getting the rebound,” said Fluvanna coach Munro Rateau with a laugh. “But when we’ve needed him to come through, he’s come through. That’s an unbelievable win for us.”
After Anderson scored, a great look for Charlottesville beyond the arc at the buzzer rimmed out, allowing the No. 1-seeded Flucos to escape with a 47-46 victory and a state tournament berth.
Anderson made his decisive play a few seconds after a Deshaun Blakey missed free throw. He knocked down the first free throw, but the second bounced out, careening to the right.
“I knew it was short and I waited for it to hit the rim as long as I could,” Anderson said.
Once he exploded toward the rim he was at the basket in a flash. He hit the tough bucket with Daquan Jones and Demarcus Scott collapsing on him with solid defensive position — the Fluvanna senior seemingly willed the ball to drop.
It was something of a coup that the Flucos were even in it late after a dismal performance on the boards. While Anderson had a strong rebounding night with 10 total boards (to go with his 24 total points) and fellow senior Taylor Lintecum stepped up with eight of his own, Fluvanna didn’t get much more. Charlottesville simply pounded the glass and the Flucos got few second chance opportunities. Fluvanna also struggled at the line, but in the end they managed to pull it out.
“We survived another night not making free throws,” Rateau said. “I told them we’ve won a lot of games missing free throws so as long as we keep winning I don’t care if they miss free throws or not.”
Charlottesville actually appeared to be in control early in the game, jumping out to a comfortable seven point lead at the break sparked by a couple of late Darius Watson 3-pointers. But Fluvanna erupted in the third quarter as Vinny Agee heated up. Agee, who finished with 10 total points, had eight in that quarter including a pair of 3-pointers. Anderson hit five free throws on eight attempts and Jalen Harrison also hit a bucket during the frame.
The defensive job the Flucos did on Watson after the break didn’t hurt either. After a nine-point first half on three 3-pointers, Fluvanna held the Black Knights’ sharpshooter scoreless in the final two quarters. No Charlottesville player actually managed to get in double figures as Deshaun Blakey had seven, Demarcus Scott had eight, Ethan Best had six and Rickquan Jones had seven.
After Anderson slid down the left-side of the lane, Charlottesville burned a lot of time off the clock. CHS coach Mitch Minor explained that he wanted to run a set play and get Blakey into the game off the bench, but he only had one timeout left. So the Black Knights essentially held for the last shot.
The play’s first option, a dump-in to Blakey or Jones off a high screen for Scott was well-covered by the Flucos, so Scott kicked it out to a wideopen Watson who’s 3-point attempt rimmed out after nearly spinning in.
“It just rimmed right out, you couldn’t ask for anything more than that,” Minor said. “I was proud of our effort, I thought we played pretty well.”
The loss ended an incredible run for the Black Knights who came together at around the right time, winning three straight Jefferson District tournament games to take the title and then efficiently disposing of Fauquier in the Region II quarterfinals.
On the other hand, it prolonged Anderson’s prep career, sending the Flucos to the state tournament for the second straight year.
“This is what we’ve been playing for since day one,” Anderson said. “We got the job done today.”