Flurry is close to the right word. Barrage might be better.
William Monroe’s boys basketball team unleashed a barrage of 3-pointers in the first half to build a sizeable lead and blow past Fluvanna County 69-51 Wednesday night. When those shots are falling, it changes everything for the Dragons.
“It makes us dynamic,” said Monroe sophomore Logan Barbour. “It makes everyone on the team want to play harder and play with more energy.”
Barbour was the main architect of that huge first half, hitting five of the nine 3-pointers to score 18 of his game high 22 points before halftime. Once Barbour knocked down a couple of triples, the Flucos got more aggressive defensively on him. Barbour responded by putting the ball on the deck, driving and kicking out to his teammates. Four of them — Max Kinsey, Alex Kinsey, Parker Woolford and Jonathan Sexton — knocked down threes of their own, pushing Fluvanna deeper into the hole. Barbour notched seven assists and turned it over just twice.
“Early in the game my jump shot was falling and they started playing tighter so I was driving and kicking to my teammates,” Barbour said. “They were wide open and knocking down shots as well.”
The Dragons naturally cooled off a touch in the second half, but the hole for Fluvanna was too deep despite Kobe Edmonds finishing with 16 points and Drew Pace chipping in 11 points.
“We did a great job for the first three minutes or so, we knew they’d run that dribble drive and space you out but then they got to the middle and made a couple of shots,” said Fluvanna coach Jason Davis. “We got frustrated and it’s like an avalanche.”
Like any squad, when the threes fall early like they were for Monroe, it opens things up offensively. But the Dragons were getting the job done on the defensive end as well. Clamping down and forcing several key turnovers before putting pressure on Fluvanna in transition.
That kind of complete effort should provide a nice springboard into Northwestern District play which starts soon for the Dragons.
“Fluvanna is quite a scrappy team, they have some talent there and I know they play hard,” said Monroe coach Brett Maynard. “To come out and get hot at the beginning and play solid defense was big for us.”
It has helped too that Barbour is maturing as a player, making a sizeable leap for Monroe over the last year. When he’s knocking down shots, driving and kicking and not trying to do too much himself, that’s when Monroe is at their best.
“I was really proud of his aggressiveness, but he’s extremely calm with the ball and makes the right passes,” Maynard said. “Especially in the first half, the decisions he made whether to shoot or whether to pass were excellent. He’s improved tremendously.”
Woolford finished with eight rebounds and three steals to go with his 12 points while Alex Kinsey finished with 15 points and three rebounds on the night.
Monroe opens Northwestern play with Manassas Park January 11 while Fluvanna will try and bounce back against Western Albemarle on the road.