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Ex-FHS standouts Huckins, Tipton nation’s No. 1 in shot percentage

From the Class of 2005 has come the golden touch.

Kyle Huckins and Ashley Tipton, both 2005 graduates of Farragut High School and former FHS standout basketball players who now play in college, found themselves leading the nation in field goal percentage as of last week.

Huckins, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound junior starting forward at Division III Emory & Henry college (Virginia), led all NCAA divisions — including the 300-plus schools of Division I — with a 76.6 field goal percentage (49 of 64) through nine games (4-5 record). He averages 12.8 points per game.

Tipton, a 5-foot-10 junior starting wing at Division II Carson-Newman College, led the nation’s Division II and Division I schools in three-point field goal percentage 55.8 (38 of 68) through 13 games (6-7). She averages 10.7 points per game.

Emory & Henry head coach Paul Russo said Huckins “is a perfect example of a self-made player, he’s really worked hard to turn himself into the player he’s become.

“Kyle has really done a tremendous job feeding off of our guards … he’s played an amazing role in what we do,” Russo added. “He’s really transformed his body by putting in some serious time in the weight room, that’s really had a lot to do with the kind of player he’s become. He’s an extremely strong kid.”

Dean Walsh, Carson-Newman head coach, said that in his 18 years of coaching men and women, “I’ve had some really good shooters, but I have not had one that’s as pure of a shooter as [Tipton]. Her form is textbook picture-perfect, every time.”

Walsh said he’s had to threaten the unselfish Tipton with a loss of playing time if she didn’t shoot more. “Her teammates have told her, ‘we need you to shoot it,’” he said. “Her biggest fear on this team is being a ball-hog.

“She listens so well, she works hard.”

“She’s gone from a situation where in high school she wasn’t asked to shoot, even though she was the best shooter on their team, to a situation where she’s definitely one of the best players on our team,” Walsh added. “She’ll stay after practice. She comes down for extra shooting during the day.”


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