Defense keys Hardin Valley girls’ dominant 4-AAA win at Farragut

A stingy defense helped the Hardin Valley Academy girls basketball team notch a key 50-35 District 4-AAA victory over rival Farragut Friday, Jan. 13, at FHS’s Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium.

“I think the key was our defense,” Lady Hawks head coach Jennifer Galloway said. “We didn’t shoot the ball that great tonight, but we tried to control the things that we could control, and that was our stance on defense, our communication on defense and executing our defensive game plan.”

Hardin Valley (13-4 overall, 6-1 in District 4-AAA starting the week) was simply dominant on the defensive end as Farragut could muster only 11 points over the first 16 minutes. While the Lady Hawks battled their share of offensive woes, HVA got a huge boost when Lizzie Davis buried a long-range jumper as time expired in the second quarter for a 21-11 halftime lead.

“I thought all of us played really well,” Davis, who scored nine, said. “We had great defense. Our shots didn’t fall in the beginning but our defense was what ultimately kept us in the game.”

Abbey Cornelius, junior post, led Hardin Valley with a game-high 15 points. Senior post Symphony Buxton also scored nine.

“We were at a height disadvantage,” said Farragut sophomore guard Morgan Carbaugh, who scored eight. “But we just have to make sure that we get a body on people when you don’t have size. I felt like we prepared to play tonight but we just didn’t execute.”

Farragut, which improved to 8-8 overall and 3-4 in the district with a 43-42 home win over Heritage Saturday night, Jan. 14, was able to show some signs of life in the fourth quarter. Senior Jamie Dallas knocked down three 3-point shots over the final eight minutes (team-high nine points). “We’re getting there. We’ve just got to finish,” Dallas said. “We have to keep the hustle up and we just have to make the most of our opportunities when we get them.”

Kate McMurry, FHS senior post, finished with eight points.

The Lady Ads were an abysmal 14-for-57 from the floor, but head coach Jason Mayfield was pleased with his team’s effort.

“We have a young team and this was just a weird night tonight,” Mayfield said. “... We were 4-for-25 [3-point shots] and I don’t remember us shooting like that.”

“But Hardin Valley played great defense and they had a lot to do with that. They took advantage of their size. The first three years, I’ve had size. But I haven’t had size the last two years. But that’s not an excuse. There are no excuses. Our kids continued to fight through this thing and I’m happy about that. Early on, we didn’t fight these kinds of games out.”

About the win, “It’s a good feeling [to beat Farragut], but it’s not our ultimate goal,” Cornelius said.