Higgins’ boys struggle wth SMHS size, 69-53; Hanging tough, Lady Ads shorthanded in loss
CROSSVILLE — In a game of Stone Memorial surges, taking advantage of its superior size in the paint, versus Farragut’s determination to rally and make the game close, it was the home team enjoying the last surge.
Stone Memorial pulled away late for a 69-53 win against the Admirals Monday night, Jan. 6, at SMHS.
Farragut dropped to 10-9 overall, while remaining 2-2 in district entering this week’s 4-AAA action.
“They executed their offensive really well,” FHS head coach Jon Higgins said about the Panthers. “They’re big, and we had trouble with them on the glass.”
However, “For a while there we had it close. ... We were right there towards the end of the third quarter,” the Admirals skipper added. “... We’d make a run, and then they would answer back.
“And then their size just kind of wore us down.”
Elisha Brabson, sophomore guard, led the Admirals in scoring with 15 points. Robby Geron, senior guard, was close behind with 13, while Saish Malluri, senior guard, added nine points.
“Right now we’re in a valley, but we’ve just got to work our way out of it because the peak is right around the corner,” Higgins said. “The guys have to understand that we’re close, real close, to being a really good basketball team.”
CROSSVILLE — Rusty from extended holiday break time and playing a Stone Memorial girls team noted for its exceptional balance and depth — and just one loss this season — a shorthanded Farragut team still had a bright spot emerge despite losing 54-50 Monday, Jan. 6, at SMHS.
Though missing starting point guard Keeleigh Rogers and key reserve post McCall Willis due to injuries, sophomore wing Avery “Ace” Strickland scored a team-high 21 points for the Lady Ads.
“I told her after the game that was her most complete game, offensively and defensively, she’s played here in her career,” said FHS head coach Jason Mayfield, whose team fell to 12-5 overall while remaining 3-1 in District 4-AAA.
Despite Strickland’s game, “Not to make excuses at all, but we had some time off after our Christmas tournament and we came out a little sluggish and a little slow,” Mayfield said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well, and they shot the ball really well.
“They had a girl off of their bench hit six 3(-point baskets),” he added.
Though trailing most of the game, “We battled back. I was proud of the effort,” the coach said.
Macy Barnes, junior point guard, scored nine points for Farragut, while Claire Wyatt, senior wing/post, added eight.