Late rally held off, Ads slip past Hardin Valley

By his own admission, Farragut High School junior point guard Robby Geron has struggled recently. But he broke out of his slump in a big way Monday night.

“My last two games haven’t been my best,” said Geron, who scored 18 points to lead the Admirals to a 70-66 District 4-AAA victory over rival Hardin Valley Academy before a spirited crowd at FHS’s Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium Jan. 28. “This was a rivalry game and I knew that I had to get my confidence back.

“This was a big win for us, not only because it’s a rivalry game. But it gives a chance to stay in the battle for the fourth seed (in the upcoming District 4-AAA Tournament at William Blount). ... We’ve gotten better every day this season. Early, we were making silly mistakes.”

Geron scored the first six points for Farragut (10-15 overall, 6-7 in the district), which completed a season sweep of the Hawks (11-13, 4-9).

Hardin Valley had a 13-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, but FHS led 27-24 at halftime.

Admiral Alec Keathley, junior center, scored seven of his 13 points in the second stanza.

“I thought our guys played really hard tonight,” HVA head coach Shane Chambers said. “... We got down by double digits but we fought back and we made it a ballgame. I’m really proud of our guys for battling hard.”

Senior guard Bryce Jenkins scored nine of his game-high 24 points over the final eight minutes, as the Hawks cut a 10-point lead to 65-64 on Rob Krakoviak’s field goal with 58.7 seconds to go.

Dillon Atwell, Geron and Jude Wren knocked down foul shots thereafter to help FHS seal the win. Atwell, a freshman guard, scored 11 points and made three 3-pointers in the third quarter.

Will Brown, a senior wing, also had 11 points while teammate Saish Malluri finished with eight.

Cartez Campbell, senior guard, scored 12 points for the Hawks while teammate Cade Huff, a senior, ended with 10.