Falcons aiming for state playoff berth

Published 8:53 am Thursday, February 15, 2018

Fuqua School’s varsity boys basketball team pulled away for a 63-38 home win over Veritas School on Monday, giving the Falcons a 14-2 record entering the final two games of their regular season schedule.

In the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association’s (VISAA) latest state poll, released Tuesday, Fuqua was ranked No. 12 in the state in Division III, the last possible seed for the state playoffs.

“Private school basketball is really tough,” Falcons Head Coach Charles Thomas said. “It’s really good.”

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Though the Falcons have an impressive record, he said it is likely that at least part of what helps the teams ahead of Fuqua in the rankings is the difficulty of their schedules, as some particularly talented squads will take on opponents at the Division I or II levels.

The Falcons visit Amelia Academy on Friday for a game with a 7 p.m. tipoff. Amelia is ranked sixth in the VISAA Division III state poll. Then Fuqua closes its regular season Tuesday on the road with a rematch against Veritas.

“And then we just sit back and wait and see if we get in or not,” Thomas said, referring to the state tournament.

He said he feels good about how the Falcons are playing right now.

“You want to be playing well at the end of the season, so I feel like we’re playing pretty good, and we’re where we need to be,” he said.

Fuqua took a close game Monday against Veritas and made it look like a blowout in the end.

The Falcons prevailed despite the Lions holding a significant size advantage, with a 6-foot-7-inch player inside and two 6-foot-5-inch players on the outside.

Fuqua held a thin 20-19 lead at halftime.

“I thought (in the) second half, we made a few adjustments defensively, in our man-to-man defense defending their offense and some things that we wanted to take away from them and make them do, and we were able to make those adjustments,” Thomas said, “and then we started making shots in the second half, and when you start making shots, it helps your defense too.”

The Falcons outscored Veritas 15-10 in the third quarter and 28-9 in the fourth quarter.

Thomas noted that sophomore guard Chipper Ford hit multiple three-pointers late in the game that helped transform it into a rout.

Falcons senior point guard Tyler Thomas led his team with 23 points, Ford finished with 13 points and sophomore forward Matt Osborn contributed 10 points.