LENOIR CITY — A 14-0 Farragut run to end the first quarter, erasing an early 10-2 Catholic lead, featured post defense so good “I would say that’s the best any team has played me all year,” said Brock Jancek, Irish 6-foot-7 star senior post. “Getting on my back and fronting me.”
Holding KCHS to just three points for more than eight minutes in the first half, the Admirals held a 30-19 lead three minutes into the third quarter of this District 4-AAA tourney quarterfinal game at Lenoir City High School Friday night, Feb. 16.
However, poor communication on defense, Farragut foul trouble, a huge technical foul and “great adjustments” from Catholic head coach Mike Hutchens added up to a 56-50 Irish win.
While Farragut’s season ends with a 14-14 overall record, the Irish stood at 17-13 overall following a 58-41 loss to Maryville in semifinal action Saturday night, Feb. 17.
[The Irish, assured of a Region 2-AAA berth, played William Blount in the consolation game Tuesday night, Feb. 20, after deadline].
“We just played some good, hard defense like coach taught us all year,” Ethan Sherrill, FHS senior guard, said.
“I thought we started playing defense the way that I expected them to play for a long time,” Admirals skipper Jon Higgins said.
Slowing down Jancek after he scored six quick points, “We tried to make them work by fronting him [double team] in the post,” Higgins said. “It the first half it really benefited us greatly. ... It sustained us from the middle of the first [period] until the middle of the third.”
“We went to our press,” Catholic head coach Mike Hutchens said. “We went on a 10-2 run. And we got Jack Sompayrac back into the lineup.”
Though in early foul trouble, Sompayrac, Irish senior guard, ended with 16 points. Jancek scored eight in the final quarter and finished with a game-high 21.
“In the second half they made great adjustments. They started setting some cross-screens, and our communication started lacking. We allowed Jancek to get in front of us, and when you let Jancek get in front of you he’s awfully hard to guard,” Higgins said.
Caleb Thompson, senior post, led FHS with 10 points. Garrett Brickhouse, senior guard, scored nine, followed by Sherrill with eight and Will Brown, junior guard, adding seven.
About his fellow seniors, Sherrill said, “There’s nine of us, and about four of us have been playing together since we were 6, 7 years old. “We built this bond together and it can never be broken. I love these guys.”