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Lady Admiral seniors Simmons, Beverly, end careers among program stat leaders


Having grown from acquaintances to best friends thanks to Farragut High School Basketball, Lady Admiral seniors Kiah Simmons and Kara Beth Beverly were quite emotional when their FHS hoops careers ended late last week. “I’ve had this girl, K-B Beverly, for four years, beside me, and that’s a highlight right there,” said Simmons, arm around Beverly, after a 55-45 loss to Heritage in the opening round of the District 4-AAA tourney at HHS Thursday, Feb. 15. “We hang out and watch movies, do girl things.

“I’ve had the best time with these girls,” Simmons added. “If I was down, they’d pick me up.”


Despite a disappointing 15-17 overall record to close their final season, Simmons and Beverly have contributed much to the program’s success. Last year’s Region 2-AAA tourney title came quickly to mind.

“It’s been a great journey,” Simmons said.

Beverly labeled Simmons, “like my sister, I love her to death, I don’t know what I’d done without her the past four years.”

The senior wing cited one big senior highlight. “We beat Oak Ridge for the first time in twenty-something years,” she said, adding, “the region championship (2006) and the district championship (2005). It’s just been amazing, I wouldn’t change anything.”

Simmons’ final game was quite memorable despite the loss.

“I thought Kiah Simmons played her best game [of the season] and one of the best games of her career,” FHS head coach Mike Driver said of Simmons’ 15 points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots. “Kiah player her heart out. She showed some people in the district that she should have been on the All-district team.”

Driver said Simmons finished no lower than third on the FHS girls all-time career rebounding list (704 her last three years), trailing only Alex Munday and Giovanni Price. “And she’s a great rebounder,” the coach added.

Driver said Beverly, the team’s most reliable three-point shooting threat this season and one of the district’s top long-range gunners, hit 73 three-point field goals this season, second in FHS history behind Ashley Tipton for most threes in a season. “She’s a shooter you’ve got to guard chose, because if she gets a look she’s not afraid to shoot it.”

As for Beverly’s performance at Heritage, “they just wouldn’t let K-B get an open shot,” said Driver, as the senior wing scored seven in her final game. “She did a good job, they just denied K-B the ball on the wing.

“I think both of those girls have the ability to go on and play at the next level, be it Division Two or Division Three,” the coach added.

HERITAGE 55 FHS 45

Overall, “I think the big difference in the game, we had twenty-two turnovers and they had six,” Driver said about his No. 6 seeded team. “And when you turn the ball over sixteen more times than a team, and a good team like Heritage, that makes it extremely tough on you to win.”

Despite a 28-20 rebound advantage for FHS, “that only makes up for part of it,” Driver added. “I think we were trying so hard in half-court for a good look inside, that sometimes we forced it in there when they had a couple of people on us. We needed to make an extra couple of passes.”

Despite Heritage sharpshooter Katie Brooks “coming out on fire,” Driver said his defense played “strong,” adding, ”we did a good job on the boards” led by Simmons.

While Brooks, an All-District 4-AAA honoree, scored a game-high 21 points for No. 3 seed Heritage (23-7 after the win).

Stephanie Torrence, Farragut’s lone All-District 4-AAA honoree, scored seven.

C.J. Dake was second in team scoring with eight, while Stephanie Harris added four followed by Brittany Doss and Katie Cafferky with two points each.

 

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