Fast start propels Fluvanna County boys past Western

Fluvanna County was staring down a huge task Tuesday night when Western Albemarle came to town. The Warriors were coming off of a victory over Albemarle that put the Warriors in the early driver’s seat for the Jefferson District title race and Fluvanna. 


The Flucos were up to the challenge.


Fluvanna jumped out to an 11-point lead in the first quarter and held on from there to beat Western Albemarle 60-53 in Palmyra to shake up the district race.


A big reason the Flucos got the job done was Bobby Gardner continuing his tear through his senior season with 29 points, 13 rebounds, eight steals and four assists. Gardner knocked down four 3-pointers and went 7-for-12 the free throw line. 


After Fluvanna led by 19-8 at the end of the first quarter, Western started to cut into the lead and trailed just 34-26 at the break. But the Warriors couldn’t get over the top and take control of the game as Gardner and the Flucos kept them at arm’s length. Lance Bruce chipped in 11 and Benny Denby had eight points for the Flucos. The Flucos’ defense was solid throughout, with 15 steals as a team while holding the Warriors’ key scorers largely in check. 


The Warriors got 16 points from Wes Gobble, 11 from Elliott Kessler and 10 from Josh Sime who also finished with 13 boards, but it wasn’t enough to knock off Fluvanna.


Fluvanna County will try and keep it going against Orange County on the road Friday night while the Warriors will square off with Monticello on the road the same night.