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Farragut girls thrive on energy, defense to dump Lady ’Dawgs

Mary Hirst, Bearden’s major post presence, was coming back from a leg injury. So too was Stephanie Torrence, Farragut’s sharpshooting guard, bouncing back from a bruised ligament.

The healing process culminated in Hirst and Company visiting Torrence and her Lady Admirals in FHS’s Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium.

With 18 points from Torrence, 17 points and 12 rebounds from senior post C.J. Dake and tough defense aided by a super surge of “rivalry” adrenaline, Farragut dumped the Lady Bulldogs 63-47 Friday, Dec. 7.

“We came full of energy tonight and we wanted it more than anything in the world,” Dake said. “We showed it, we played like it for four quarters, which had been hurting us for a while — we’d only played three good quarters, two good quarters [prior games].

“I’m ecstatic, we played amazing,” Dake added. “Our defensive pressure was great. We broke the press, we shot the ball a lot better.”

While the Lady Ads improved to 4-5 overall 1-2 in District 4-AAA entering the week, Bearden fell to 3-4 overall, 1-2 in 4-AAA despite a game-high 20 points from Hirst, a 6-foot-1 junior.

FHS head coach Mike Driver said his team “wanted to shut ’em down, they played aggressive defense, they were diving after loose balls, they were forcing turnovers. We put pressure on their guards. … Leadership on the floor was tremendous.”

Individually, Driver dished out special praise to junior point guard Brittney Doss.

“Brittney is the driver of this car, she drove us to victory tonight,” the FHS skipper said.

In the post, “C-J Dake had a phenomenal game tonight,” Driver said, adding that 5-foot-11 senior post Allison Bosse “did a good job” defending Hirst. “Stephanie Amato came in and really put some pressure on some of their guards.”

Despite Hirst’s 20 points, “I think we limited her to five rebounds,” Driver said. “Stephanie’s coming back, she’s pretty much full strength now. They all played as a team.”

Bosse finished with 10 points, followed by Stephanie Harris with five, Meredith Lindley four, Amato three and two points each from Doss and Hayley Newby.

Rikki Sanders scored eight for Bearden, followed by Sarah Canter and Taylor Cravnas with six each, Dena Riner four and Jenna Maynard three points.

Torrence said Farragut’s home game three days earlier, a 69-51 loss to Sevier County Dec. 4, “Was not a great defensive effort, we were really down about that. So we decided tonight we were going to get out there and get the rebounds, box out, get steals and just take the win home.”

Bearden head coach Nathan Hodges said, “There’s always lots of emotions, but I felt like Farragut did a better job of handling those emotions, especially in the second half. They did put a lot of pressure on us when they were on defense. They were able to make the plays we weren’t able to make. I give them the credit for that.

“We weren’t moving the ball around the perimeter very well just in general, we would come down and not be patient enough on the perimeter to force their defense to have to play a full possession,” Hodges added. “Farragut’s players on defense were able to just kinda stand around and sag and help on Mary because our perimeter offense was very stagnant. We weren’t freeing up shooters on the perimeter to get really good looks.

“I don’t know if it was the magnitude of the game or we just had a bad night, but we weren’t able to knock ’em down.”


Hirst poured in 24 in her first full game back from injury, one of three Lady Bulldogs in double figures scoring, as Bearden edged Maryville 66-61 Tuesday, Dec. 4, at BHS.

“That was a huge victory for our team, one we really needed to have early in the season at home against a district team,” Hodges said, adding that after a “ragged” first half (trailing 32-22 at the break) “we made some adjustments and the kids came out in the second half and just kinda found their rhythm.”

Sanders added 11 and Maynard 10. Canter scored eight, Shayla McDaniel six, Cravanas four and Riner three.


The Bearettes, led by post Jean Wilborn‘s 20 points, shot a sizzling 73 percent to whip Farragut.

Harris led the Lady Admirals with 15 points, followed by 12 from Torrence and 11 from Bosse. Dake had six, with Hayley Newby and Jennifer Rutherford each adding five and Doss scoring four. Kylann Scheidt tallied three points.


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