• 57°

POTW: Zack Fluker

It was the biggest game of the season for his team, so any notion that the JEHS go-to guy would fold under pressure should have been regarded as foolish from the outset.

The Hornets went into Friday night’s clash with Sunshine needing a win to clinch the second seed in the upcoming Class 1A, Area 5 tournament and avoid an obligatory coin toss with Sweet Water to determine who would take the No. 3 spot and who would face A.L. Johnson in a play-in game.

So Zack Fluker simply did what Zack Fluker has done all year long. He opened the game slowly, methodically getting his teammates involved from the outset. As time ticked off the game clock, Fluker gradually cranked up the intensity.

Then came the fourth quarter. Sunshine had successfully chipped a 13-point halftime deficit down to a 35-31 John Essex lead at the start of the game’s final period.

With the game suddenly tight and all the momentum in the Tigers’ corner, Fluker did what he does. He took over. The senior guard proceeded to make shot after shot in the fourth quarter, hitting from mid-range, burying daggers from long range and slicing his way to the hoop at will.

Head coach Rodney Dixon considers Fluker his floor general and has little concern as to which of his players will get the ball when the game is on the line.

“Every coach’s dream is to have someboy on the court who can do what you want without having to say it,” Dixon said of the luxury of having a player like Fluker.

The senior ended his night Friday with six rebounds, four assists, five steals and a career-high 28 points. More importantly, he left the floor with the knowledge that he had helped lead his team to a crucial 53-48 win over the area’s perennial powerhouse.