William Fleming outscored Franklin County 26-12 in the first and third quarters Tuesday en route to an 11-point, 52-43 Blue Ridge District girls varsity basketball triumph over the Eagles at Samuel M. Hawkins-Central Gymnasium.
The Colonels, a winner of six straight games, and Lord Botetourt are undefeated in district play heading into their first hardwood showdown of the season, scheduled for Thursday night.
William Fleming (3-0 in the Blue Ridge District, 11-2 overall) opened its season with five straight wins before falling to Class 5 foes Patrick Henry and Highland Springs in consecutive outings.
During their current winning streak, the Colonels avenged a four-point, home loss to Patrick Henry with an 11-point triumph on a neutral floor.
The Colonels, led by second-year head coach Richard Wilson, are seeking their sixth state tournament berth in seven years this season.
The Eagles (1-2 in the Blue Ridge District, 7-5 overall) have lost consecutive league games since winning their district debut in December.
The Eagles are 0-5 this season against teams that qualified for state tournament play last year with two losses to Lord Botetourt (Class 3) and one setback each to Magna Vista (Class 3), Patrick Henry and William Fleming.
FCHS trailed 40-24 at the start of the fourth quarter. The Eagles cut the deficit to nine points on multiple occasions and they were within eight points, 46-38, with three minutes left after a basket by Jaedyn Jamison.
But the Colonels would secure the win by edging the Eagles 6-5 down the stretch.
FCHS did win the final frame, 19-12.
The Colonels employed pressure defense throughout the contest and forced the Eagles to commit 23 turnovers.
William Fleming led by seven points, 13-6, after the first quarter, and the Colonels pushed the spread to nine, 27-18, at intermission after capturing the second stanza 14-12.
The Colonels’ advantage reached double figures in the third period, a quarter they would win 13-6. They scored the first five points of the frame in building their edge.
Shakara Anderson’s double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds paced the Colonels. She was three steals shy of achieving a triple-double.
Anderson hit both of her team’s 3-point field goals.
Victoria Board netted 17 points and Lanie Bethel scored 10.
Three other players accounted for six points — each with two.
Jamison led the Eagles with 12 points and six rebounds. She was the Eagles’ lone double-figure scorer.
Ta’mya Robertson finished with eight points and eight rebounds.
Jamison and Robertson are third-year juniors.
Robertson swished two 3-point field goals, while Taylor Janney and Jocelyn Shufelt each hit one.
FCHS returns to action tonight against Blue Ridge District rival William Byrd. Tip off in Vinton is 7 p.m.
TIP-INS: William Fleming won the junior varsity contest 47-16.
FCHS is 1-2 in the Blue Ridge District, 4-6 overall.
FCHS returns to action tonight against Blue Ridge District rival William Byrd. Tip off in Vinton is 5:30 p.m.