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Simmons, Beverly to lead defending region champs

Having lost four starters off of last season’s Region 2-AAA champions — the program’s first-ever region title — Farragut varsity girls basketball skipper Mike Driver must deal with “a little inexperienced at first” this season.

Senior post Kiah Simmons (6-foot), the only returning starter, will anchor the inside, hoping to sharpen her scoring skills. Simmons led the team in rebounding last season.

“She’s a very strong inside post player, a fabulous rebounder, a great defensive player,” coach Driver said, adding she hopes Simmons will learn to soften her shooting touch near the basket.

Kara Beth Beverly, the team’s only other senior, is a sharpshooting wing/small forward who played regularly last season as a two-guard.

“She’s a great three-point shooter ... she’s the one that’s going to have to pick up twelve, thirteen points a game,” Driver said. “She’s gotta score for us. And I think she’s gotta help us with rebounding.”

Sophomore guard Stephanie Torrence, possibly the team’s most talented player, gives the Lady Admirals a dribble-drive presence in addition to her outside shooting ability.

Driver said Torrence must adjust from playing “ten to twelve minutes a game to “twenty-six to twenty-eight minutes” per contest.

“She’s going to have to score for us,” the coach said, adding, “I think she could be a defensive stopper for us, but she’s gotta commit to it. She’s quick to the basket. ... I think she’s gotta work on her passing, continuing to recognize things. ... Stephanie’s gotta pick up eight to ten points-per-game.

“She’s got a lot of God-given talent, she reminds me a lot of Mandy Newman [former Lady Admiral].”

Sophomore Brittany Doss takes over at point guard. Doss backed-up standout four-year starter Beth Raby last season.

Saying Doss has had “growing pains in scrimmages,” Driver adds, “She’s a hard worker on the court ... I think she’s gonna be really solid for us.”

As for a power forward starter, “We’ve kinda been looking at different people,” Driver said. “Allison Bosse and C-J Dake [both juniors] are probably the main ones at the four.”

But because both were members of the FHS girls soccer team that earned a state tourney berth, “They’re both a little rusty. Their conditioning’s fine, but they have to get back into basketball shape.

“Allison’s really, really quick on top of our press,” Driver added. “C-J’s got great vision on the court, she’s one of our best passers. ... I’m hoping she’ll step up and be a scorer for us some.”

Driver said sophomore post Brooke LeGate “ is very athletic.” She has started in scrimmages.

Top reserve wings include junior Andrea Britton and sophomore Morgan Holbrook. Junior Meredith Lindley and sophomore Jennifer Rutherford “will get minutes” at backup shooting guard.

Driver added that Holbrook, a transfer from Clinton, could also see time at small forward or even at the point. Sophomore post Erin LeGate is labeled “a talented player” by Driver, adding that freshman post Stephanie Harris “has great potential.”

Junior point guard Katie Cafferky will also vie for minutes.


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