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Red-hot Lady Ads No. 3 seed in 4-AAA

Seemingly going downhill fast with an 0-4 District 4-AAA record, 5-6 overall, in mid-December, the Farragut Lady Admirals continue a dramatic turnaround.

Winning its 15th game in its last 17 tries (20-8 overall), the FHS girls earned the third seed in next week’s 4-AAA tourney in Heritage with a final 9-5 regular season district mark.

Closing district play with nine wins in its last 10 games, the Lady Ads used strong perimeter defense to whip William Blount 44-37 Tuesday, Feb. 8, at FHS. A 66-50 victory followed at West Friday, Feb. 11.

Senior wing Ashley Tipton pointed to a 60-58 victory at Webb Dec. 17 as a turning point. “Webb before Christmas was huge, definitely the turning point,” she said. “We lost many games straight ... and then we went to the Christmas Tournament in Florida and won it all.”

Beginning Saturday, Feb. 19, the 4-AAA tourney (through Feb. 25) finds Farragut playing Monday, Feb. 21, against the Sevier County-West winner. The Lady Ads must win to prolong its season, but a victory earns them a trip to the Region 2-AAA tourney in Clinton (Feb. 28-March 3)

As for last week’s success, “William Blount was a great defensive game,” FHS head coach Mike Driver said. “We played solid defense ... I was extremely proud of our team in the second half to hold ’em to five points in one quarter and seven in the other. ... We spread out on their shooters and made ’em beat us on the inside, where I think they’re weaker at.”

Though WBHS standout Angela Puleo led all scorers with 20, no other WBHS player scored more than six. Senior post Natalie Munday led FHS with 15 points.

Against West, the Lady Ads pulled away in the third quarter. “Ashley had a real good first half with four threes,” Driver said of Tipton, who led with 22 points.

Among the second-half sparkplugs, “K.B. (Beverly) came off the bench and hit some in the second half,” Driver said. “I thought Kiah (Simmons) did a job on the boards and made a good sixteen-foot short corner shot there. I thought everybody contributed. Catelyn Dake came out real aggressive rebounding in the third quarter. I thought Zanetta (Mason) gave us some good minutes to back up Beth (Raby), took care of the ball and helped us with a lot of pressure on us.” Raby ended with six assists.

About the third-quarter surge, Tipton praised her teammates. “I think Natalie, K.B. and (Rachel) Draper all stepped right at the beginning of the (second half), so it wasn’t just primarily one or two scorers,” she said. “Everyone stepped in, and they had to cover everyone instead of just a couple of people.”

Munday scored 14 followed by Dake and Beverly with seven each, Kiah Simmons six, Draper five, Raby four and Mason one point.


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