Down by 12, Farragut takes care of Hawks at HVA
HARDIN VALLEY — As he watched his team endure its early share of offensive struggles, Farragut High School boys basketball head coach Jon Higgins didn’t hit the panic button.
The Admirals fell behind by 11 points early, but they persevered and notched a 69-61 District 4-AAA victory over rival Hardin Valley Academy Friday night, Jan. 15, at HVA.
“Even when we were down, I thought our pressure defense was pretty good,” Higgins said after his squad notched a comeback victory on the road and improved to 6-6 overall and 4-3 in the district. “We just weren’t hitting shots.”
The Admirals fell behind 28-17 late in the second quarter before scoring the last seven points of the first half.
From there, it was a rollercoaster ride until Farragut found its shooting touch over the final eight minutes of the contest. The game was knotted 49-49 heading into the fourth quarter before the Admirals got hot and used a 12-0 run to take a 61-49 lead when Dillon Atwell knocked down a 3-point shots with five minutes left in the game.
After a pair of huge District 4-AAA showdowns, both at home, went badly for Jason Mayfield’s Farragut Lady Ads basketball team, it was nice to follow up with an easy victory.
Losing a heartbreaker to rival Bearden — the team’s first setback of the season — Farragut then fell to perennial district power Maryville 65-49 Tuesday, Jan. 12. “When you shoot 14 of 28 from three (-point range), that’s pretty good,” Mayfield said about the MHS hot hand.
“… I think we played as individuals, and it makes us not as good as we can be,” he added.
Then came a young Hardin Valley Academy team last Friday, Jan. 15, at HVA. The Lady Hawks put up a strong fight in the first quarter before the Lady Ads breezed to a 67-32 district win. “I thought tonight we shared the ball much better,” Mayfield said, as Farragut improved to 10-2 overall, 5-2 in district following the victory.
With a growing girls wrestling program at Farragut High School — 10 grapplers in weight classes from 119 to 215 pounds — head coach David Garabrandt’s Lady Admirals faced a Union County program with equally strong numbers.
Suffering its first dual match loss of the season, Farragut’s girls were edged out by UCHS 36-33 Friday, Jan. 15, in FHS’s Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium.
In contested individual matches, Lady Admirals junior Elaina Thibeault (160-pound class) scored a first-period pin, while sophomore Hailey Webb (170) claimed an 8-4 victory.
“I would have to say the one that impressed me the most was our 170 for the night, Hailey Webb,” Garabrandt said. “She’s one of our first-year wrestlers. She went out there and impressed me — considering the long break we’ve had, she was able to remember (moves) and actually able to perform during that match.”
Other wrestlers on the roster last Friday were seniors Katherine Vail (119) and Isabella Snyder (132), junior Emily Manning (215), sophomore Sydney Brennan (132) and freshmen Molly Graham (125), Katelyn Matheny (190) and Makena Porter (133).
KNOXVILLE — Once upon a time, in the not too distant past, TSSAA schools were told not to play Knoxville Christian School — that according to its current athletic director.
However, things have warmed up quite a bit recently, as the school’s application to join TSSAA was accepted during the body’s virtual Board of Control meeting Thursday, Jan. 14.
“We’re excited about the opportunity,” Joey Brandenburg, KCS athletic director and boys basketball head coach, said about the Knights’ TSSAA participation in boys and girls basketball and volleyball beginning with the 2021-22 season. “They put us in (Division II, District) 2A, East Division.”
Knoxville Christian will be an affiliate member that first season, meaning KCS teams would not be eligible for post-season TSSAA tournament play.
“That’s the common rule … you go through a year of probation as an affiliate,” Brandenburg said. “But we will attend the NACA National Tournament, (that’s) where we would go next year” instead of the TSSAA tournaments.
“The following year we’re be able to compete for (TSSAA) state championships,” he added.
No. 3-seeded boys stayed perfect
The post-game emphasis was “making the Final Four,” as the unbeaten Farragut Middle School boys basketball team rolled into the Knox County Middle School Girls Basketball Tournament “Final Four” this week following a decisive quarterfinal tourney home win.
The Admirals, a No. 3 seed despite having a perfect record, improved to 8-0 thanks to a 58-36 tourney victory against No. 6-seed Cedar Bluff in Bobby Henry Gymnasium Saturday afternoon, Jan. 16.
“Here at Farragut, we want to make going to the Final Four the standard,” Lynn Allen, FMS first-year head coach, said. “… The Lord has blessed us, we’ve got so many great kids.”
The Ads played at No. 2 seed Bearden Tuesday, Nov. 19 (after press deadline).
Tuesday’s winners play in the championship game at South-Doyle Middle School beginning at 8 p.m., tonight (Thursday, Jan. 21). The losers played in a consolation game Wednesday, Jan. 20 (after deadline) to determine the third team going to the middle school state tournament.
FOUNTAIN CITY — Farragut Middle School girls basketball head coach Devan McIntyre couldn’t hide her excitement after her team advanced to the semifinals of the Knox County Middle School Girls Basketball Tournament.
McIntyre was ecstatic because she felt her team’s hard work in a season altered by the COVID-19 pandemic is really beginning to reap benefits.
“The thing that I’m proudest of with these girls is their work ethic,” McIntyre said after the No. 5 Lady Admirals outlasted the No. 4 Gresham Lady Gladiators 50-43 in a quarterfinal game in North Knoxville Saturday, Jan. 16. “I’m really proud of all of them. I’m proud of them for their hard work all year.
“I feel like all that hard work is really finally starting to pay off.”
The victory didn’t come easily for the Lady Admirals (7-2) and McIntyre, FMS’s second-year head coach said that the game unfolded much like she thought it would.
“Gresham has a good team and they’re well-coached,” she said. “I have a lot of respect for (Lady Gladiators’ coach Kiley Heyward).