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Group AA, Division 3 Boys Basketball: Yellow Jackets run out of gas
BY JUSTIN RICE
HARRISONBURG—At the finish, James Monroe’s six were not enough.
With two starters suspended for disciplinary reasons and sixth man Tony Scott injured, the Yellow Jackets’ first trip in nearly 40 years to the Group AA, Division 3 tournament ended after one game Friday, stopped by Fluvanna’s 25–6 fourth-quarter burst that secured a 75–58 win at the Convocation Center on the James Madison University campus.
“We played with six people,” JM coach Antonio Coghill said, “and I couldn’t be prouder of them. They played for 32 minutes against a very good Fluvanna team. The score wasn’t indicative of how the game went.”
Indeed one would have a difficult time seeing the final margin and believing James Monroe had a 54–50 lead with seven minutes, 49 seconds to play.
Jackets center Te’Quan Alers connected with a nifty move around the basket for his 16th and 17th points, and JM matched its largest lead of the night.
But that would be Alers’ last basket, and Fluvanna used its defense to seize control.
“I know we were tired,” Coghill said. “There’s no excuses—we’re going to play with the guys we have. But it took a toll. When you’ve got six players, going the whole game in an environment like that, it’s tough.”
Flucos freshman Vinny Agee made a steal and a layup to tie the game at 54–54, sparking a boisterous reaction from Fluvanna’s student section. Then Jalen Harrison followed with another steal on the Jackets’ next possession, and Agee against finished with a layup.
Agee had another steal and layup a minute later, and Fluvanna led, 60–54.
The Flucos finished the game on a 25–4 run, turning a halftime nail-biter into a runaway.
“We were right there,” Coghill said. “We took the lead, and it was 54–50. The next thing you know, it was 71–58.”
Ya Ya Anderson had 25 to pace Fluvanna, and Agee added 19. Anderson had 15 points in the first quarter—including a pair of three-point plays—but was quiet through the middle part of the game.
After a 13-point first half, Alers managed just a pair of second-half baskets. He was often dominant against a smaller Fluvanna frontcourt, but the Flucos’ second-half zone made getting the ball inside difficult.
“They were trying to double team me,” Alers said. “They were even telling me they were going to trap me. I was trying to find [teammates] outside to knock down jumpers, but they didn’t fall tonight.”
James Monroe was 3 for 18 from beyond the 3-point line. Jaamir Bumbrey’s 3 midway through the third period had tied the game, 44–44, for JM. It was the last 3-point basket the Jackets would hit.
“Usually we knock them down,” said JM’s Julian Bumbrey, who had a team-high 18 points. “Tonight they just weren’t falling.”
Coghill had a go-figure reaction after the game when reminded of the Jackets’ 3-point shooting woes. Whether it was the paper-thin Jackets’ fatigue or just an off night, shots that had been there all season just didn’t fall in the fourth quarter Friday.
“Outside shots,” Coghill said, “sometimes you live by it, and sometimes you die by it.”
J. Monroe 18 17 17 6 — 58
Fluvanna 24 13 13 25 — 75
James Monroe (24–4): Jaamir Bumbrey 11, Torreik Ferguson 0, Marcus Finnie 2, Robert Lamar 0, Te’Quan Alers 17, Julian Bumbrey 18, Tommy Nguyen 0, Alex Baker 10, James Fleet 0, James McFadden 0. Totals: 26 3-11 58.
Fluvanna (24–3): Taylor Lintecum 10, Chris Lacy 0, Jalen Harrison 2, Ya Ya Anderson 25, Vincent Agee 19, Dorian Butler 2, Blake Hillis 3, Dale Ludwig 0, Brad Bullock 0, Trevonne Bradley 2, Alex Brooks 0, Jake Smith 12, Darien Dews 0. Totals: 27 19-26 75.
Three-point goals: James Monroe 3 (J. Bumbrey, J. Bumbrey, A. Baker). Fluvanna 2 (Y. Anderson 2).
Justin Rice: 540/368-5045