Defense, balance scoring are keys as Lady Ads go 2-1 in tournament
MARYVILLE — Beating a team from Lexington, Kentucky, to open play in Renasant Bank Christmas Tournament, Farragut’s Lady Admirals closed their three-game effort with strong defense, which provided a third-place finish at Maryville High School.
Having four double-figure scorers in beating LaFayette (Kentucky) 56-49 Tuesday, Dec. 27, led by senior wing Maelyn McNealy’s 13 points, Farragut wrapped up third place by allowing Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett just two points in the fourth quarter, on a breakaway lay-up, to win 40-36 Thursday evening, Dec. 29.
“Our defense was pretty good in the second half … our rotations were pretty good; our boxing out was much better,” said Admirals skipper Jason Mayfield, whose team improved to 12-5 overall after winning two of three in the tourney.
“During timeouts we kept saying, ‘if we keep them under 40 points we’ll win this game,’” said Annalise Bishop, FHS senior guard who scored 11 versus LaFayette before adding seven against the KDB Lady Indians.
However, “They were getting a few too many looks in the first half,” the coach added about Dobyns-Bennett shooters. “I think both teams hit six threes in the first half.”
Other double-digit scorers against LaFayette were freshman guard K.J. McNealy and sophomore guard Lucy Beck, each scoring 11. Lilly Mullins added six points.
K.J. McNealy, freshman wing, led the way in scoring against Dobyns-Bennett with 12 points. Beck and Mullins each added eight.
McMinn Central 51 FHS 48
A rebound basket lay-up and free throw following a foul — an old-fashioned three-point play — with just four seconds remaining allowed McMinn Central to edge the Lady Admirals 51-48 in tourney semifinal action Wednesday, Dec. 28.
“We lost because we didn’t box out,” Mayfield said. “That was a physical game.”
“It was definitely a winnable game; we lost because on the defensive end we didn’t finish with box-outs,” Bishop said.
Maelyn McNealy scored a game-high 19, followed by her sister, K.J. McNealy, with 12. Mya Johnston and Bishop each had six points.
Having played three competitive tournament games “was good for us; to grow and continue to get better,” Mayfield said. “We’re guard-oriented, obviously. We’ve got to do a better job of attacking the paint through contact and with contact.”