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Falcons Start Fast, Can't Hold On At Amelia Academy

AMELIA – The Fuqua School boys basketball team had defending Virginia Commonwealth Conference champion and league leader Amelia Academy on the run in Friday night's contest at Amelia, but the Falcons were unable to hold onto a 12-point halftime lead in a 72-58 loss to the Patriots.

The Falcons jumped out to a 20-16 lead after the first quarter, and extended it to a 43-31 advantage at the break, before the Patriots stormed back to take a 53-51 lead at the end of the third.

“We were very successful in the first half at getting the shots we wanted and they went in,” said FS head coach Marcus Gregory. “We didn't come out in the second half ready to go, and against a team like Amelia Academy, you have to play all 32 minutes.

“In the first half, we did a good job of getting the ball inside and scoring or kicking it back out for a long two or a three. In the second half, it's like we tried to work from the outside-in, instead of the inside-out. Settling for outside shots is not going to work against a good team.”

Amelia continued to build on its advantage. A three-pointer by Davis Cyrus cut the Patriots' lead to 66-57 with 2:10 remaining, but the Falcons were unable to get any closer.

“We knew they were going to make a run, but we didn't do a good job of cutting it short. It was a combination of us not playing within ourselves and them playing better.”

The Patriots survived a close call on their home court, and sent the Falcons back to the drawing board in hopes of another meeting in next week's VCC Tournament.

“That's the goal,” said Gregory. “We have a lot of basketball to play between now and then. This week, we have Tidewater and Kenston Forest, and if we do that, we'd have to win two games in the tournament, before we can get another shot at them.

“Last year, we were in a similar situation, but we lost to Kenston Forest in the tournament semis. While we can't get ahead of ourselves, and we have to make sure we take care of business between now and then, we have a long-term goal of getting back to them in the finals. To do that, we'll have to win four games.”

Cyrus led a balanced scoring attack with 14 points and five rebounds, while Jai Jamerson scored nine points and Boris Ngundji added eight points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Amelia Academy was led in scoring by Reid Jacoby, who had 19 points, while Naanma Yamsat added 18, Otis Williams 17 and Josh Bailey, who had a double-double of 12 points and ten rebounds.

The Falcons were scheduled to host Tidewater Academy on Tuesday night, and will host Kenston Forest on Friday in the regular-season finale.