Falcons Overcome Slow Start In VCC Quarterfinals

Published 3:27 pm Thursday, February 21, 2013

FARMVILLE – The Fuqua School boys basketball team overcame a slow start with a strong finish to power to a 77-43 victory over Richmond Christian on Tuesday night in the quarterfinal round of the Virginia Commonwealth Conference Basketball Tournament at Gilmer Gym.

“A slow start, but a strong finish,” said FS head coach Marcus Gregory. “We were a little sluggish after a few days off from school, but we aren't making excuses about it. Richmond Christian came in here and played very loose, while we were a little flat. I'll credit our guys for not getting tight and making the correct adjustments on the court defensively, which allowed us to get the game to the tempo we like.”

The Falcons trailed 13-6 with 1:42 remaining in the first quarter, before a 10-0 run, capped by a Boris Ngundji layup gave the Falcons a 16-13 lead with 6:28 left in the half.

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Fuqua held the lead for the remainder of the game, but were unable to shake the Warriors, who trailed 30-27 at the break.

“They shot the ball well in the first half, and found some openings for those easy shots,” said Gregory. “We didn't change anything at halftime, really, we just put an emphasis on getting to where we are supposed to be on defense. Spacing and placement plays a big role in our defensive scheme.”

It took only 15 seconds for guard Antonio Gonzalez to set the tone for the remainder of the game. He scored his first points of the night on a steal and layup to kick-start a 12-5 run that gave the Falcons a 42-32 lead with 4:38 remaining in the third.

A RCS layup cut the Falcons' lead back to eight points with 3:36 left in the third, but Fuqua put the game away with a 12-1 run over the balance of the quarter to take a 54-35 lead into the fourth.

Fuqua extended its lead to 65-36 with 5:17 remaining on four consecutive made free throws by Al Baker, and Ngundji put an exclamation point on the second half blitz with a slam dunk with 4:21 left.

Ngjundji led all scorers with 17 points on the night to go along with seven rebounds. Josh Davis added a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Baker scored 14 points and had five assists. Carter Cunningham scored ten points.

Austin Gray led the Warriors with 16 points.

Fuqua moves on to play Tidewater Academy on Friday night in the VCC Semifinals at Richard Bland College.

“It gets much tougher from here on out,” said Gregory. “We will have to remain focused, and we won't be able to afford any slow starts. The teams from here on will make it very difficult on us if we give them a little bit of a lead.”