Broad Run Coach Mike O'Hara says forward Holly King is the most intense player he has coached during a career that includes six seasons with the Spartans girls' team and six coaching boys. With the Spartans facing an upset bid by sub-.500 Fluvanna County in the AA Region II girls' basketball tournament last night, King showed how she earned that reputation.
The Spartans' sophomore was instrumental in double-teaming the Flying Flucos' talented post players during the fourth quarter, and that strategy helped Broad Run escape with a 43-34 victory in Ashburn.
"When we practiced before the game, the coaches showed our guards that they needed to come help us down low," King said. "It was definitely teamwork coming back at the end."
Broad Run (21-5) survived the quarterfinals for only the second time in five consecutive trips to the region tournament. The Spartans overcame a five-point deficit against a hot Fluvanna County team that was seeded sixth in its district tournament and finished the season 9-15.
From the outset, it looked as if Broad Run was going to be the Flying Flucos' latest upset victim. The Spartans made only two of their first 20 shots, and leading scorer Alexis Campbell was hindered by foul trouble.
After trailing by five late in the third quarter, Broad Run finally took control of the game after making a defensive adjustment in the fourth quarter. Flying Flucos forwards Roshell Hill and LaToya Douglas (eight points each) were punishing the Spartans in the lane, so the Spartans started double-teaming them.
King was matched up against Hill, and with the help of guard Erin Thompson, Broad Run limited Hill to one basket in the quarter. In all, Broad Run held a 16-4 scoring advantage in the quarter and pulled away.
"It was a smart move by their coaches," Flying Flucos Coach Chad White said. "They hadn't been double-teaming the entire night. I knew it was coming soon, I just didn't know when. I was surprised he waited that late, but when he did it kind of threw us off a little bit."
Campbell scored seven points in the fourth quarter to become the only player in double figures.
Broad Run 43,
Fluvanna County 34
What's a Flying Fluco? According to several fans, Fluvanna County adopted its mascot in the 1940s after a news article abbreviated the school's name when referring to its fast football team. The story was along the lines of "the high-flying players from Flu. Co."
Up Next: Broad Run will play Turner Ashby in the Region II semifinals tomorrow at 7 p.m. at James Madison University in Harrisonburg.