HARDIN VALLEY — While Knox County Schools were closed last week due to illness, area middle school basketball players had to sit idly because of a county-wide policy that mandates student-athletes can’t practice on days that schools kept their doors locked.
So Farragut Middle School’s girls basketball team had little time to prepare for its Section 1-AAA Tournament opener against Sevierville. And it showed.
The Lady Admirals looked rusty — and they never really recovered — suffering a 50-31 season-ending loss to the Lady Cubs Monday night, Feb. 3, at Hardin Valley Middle School.
“It hurt us not being able to practice and getting shots up,” said FMS head coach Devan McIntyre, who just completed her first year as Lady Ads’ skipper. “But we were pretty much in the same boat as everybody else.”
Farragut made its second consecutive trip to the state sectionals after finishing third in both the Knox County School Basketball Conference and in the James A. Ivey Jr. Memorial Middle School Basketball Tournament.
The Lady Admirals had won the previous two conference tournaments, but Knox County basketball teams weren’t sanctioned by the TMSAA until last season.
McIntyre said she was pleased with her team’s effort this season.
“Our girls fought hard,” she said. “They fought until the final whistled and I’ve never once questioned their effort.
“I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Against Sevierville, Annie Priest had 12 points and Hannah Enderson added 12 for FMS, who broke out to an early 3-2 lead before the Lady Cubs closed the first quarter with a 13-5 and never relinquished control.
Lady Wolves advance to quarterfinals: West Valley got 12 points from Lindsay Wilson and eight from Lainey Cox en route to a 44-24 victory over Maryville in another opening-game.
The Lady Wolves were dominant from the outset, opening a 24-9 lead over the Lady Rebels by halftime.
WVMS coach Josh Ballard was pleased to see his squad move on. They played Wednesday but results were unavailable at press time.
“I think our kids played well, considering that they hadn’t practice during our little flu-cation,” he said. “Maryville is well-coached and they hung in there. I liked the way that our eighth graders led the charge.”