Monroe boys survive Fluvanna County with fourth quarter surge

William Monroe boys basketball’s Alex Kinsey has been trying to rediscover a little bit of early season shooting magic he had during a recent cold stretch.


“We’ve been working on it after practice and he finally looked at me today and said ‘it’s back coach, it’s back’,” said Monroe coach Brett Maynard.


It came roaring back Friday night in a 73-62 victory over Fluvanna County as Kinsey knocked down four 3-pointers en-route to a 20-point outing.


It wasn’t particularly easy for the rebuilt Dragons though as Monroe had to weather a furious third quarter rally by Fluvanna who simply refused to go quietly despite trailing by 12 at halftime. Seven different Flucos scored in the third, with all five field goals coming from different players in a gritty team effort to claw back into the game and briefly take the lead at 50-49.


“We battled hard and we’re young, we only have two seniors who play a lot of minutes and then we have six sophomores and a freshman,” said Fluvanna coach Jason Davis. “The schedule is tough, but before the game we talked about playing with effort and desire and not letting anyone outhustle us and we didn’t get outhustled tonight.”


A.J. Gregory finished with 19 points to lead the Flucos while Dashon Carter and John Boy Rittenhouse each had nine points. Monroe eventually snatched back the lead at 51-50 heading into the fourth and that was in part due to Kinsey’s effort not just offensively but his energy all over the floor in the Monroe’s halfcourt and press defensive sets.


“It’s just how hard he plays that makes a huge difference, and we have a lot of guys like that, Blake Shifflett and Noah Perkins are just going at it the entire game, I’m just really proud of those kids,” Maynard said.


Monroe also got a huge night from big man Parker Woolford, who’s double double with 13 points and 14 rebounds underneath helped keep Kinsey open much of the game with some inside balance. It helped too that guards like Darrell Watson and Logan Barbour can push the tempo and speed and run at opponents. Throw in the young team’s counterpunch in the fourth after Fluvanna struck in the third and it’s clear Monroe is making progress.


“I was really proud of how resilient they were, that’s one of our core values,” Maynard said. “We had a guy who was sick who wasn’t here and we had all four of our posts in foul trouble. It turned ugly there and we didn’t play as well as we hoped to. But give Fluvanna credit, they really fought, they really brought it there.”


The two squads will actually lock up again next week in Fluvanna’s two-day holiday tournament starting Thursday at 6:30 p.m.