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Champs: FHS girls rally late
Lady Ads stun Powell in Gibbs tourney with late ‘D,’ point flurry


Hayley Newby, FHS junior post and Gibbs Kroger tournament Most Valuable Player (42) finds lots of traffic driving to the basket, including Powell post Jill Herman (5).- Alan Sloan/farragutpress
Holding Powell to just one point in the fourth quarter while overcoming a five-point deficit with less than two minutes to play, Farragut girls basketball takes home a tournament crown.

The Lady Admirals (4-1) won the eight-team Gibbs Kroger Thanksgiving Classic with a super surge late — prompted by forcing a pair of full-court press turnovers and one player’s home stretch scoring.

The 47-40 victory versus the PHS Lady Panthers (2-1) came in the title game Saturday night, Nov. 28, at GHS, despite playing only four non-freshmen — and no seniors.

Trailing most of the game — including 37-26 with less than three minutes left in the third quarter and 39-34 with under two minutes left in the game — FHS got nasty fast. Especially on defense.


“Definitely the defense kicked it up a lot,” said Hayley Newby, 5-foot-11 junior post and tourney MVP who scored 12. “Katie Cargo, Jessica [Griswold] stepped up on Jill Herman [PHS standout post]. Jessie just stepped up big in the fourth quarter.”

Griswold, junior wing who joined Newby as one of three Farragut All-tournament honorees, scored nine of her game-high 18 points in the final two minutes.

Wes Edmonds, FHS head coach, said Griswold, Newby and Cargo “stepped up pretty big in this game.”

Griswold converted two free throws with 1:47 left, cutting the PHS lead to 39-36. That ended a 5:44 scoring drought for both teams.

The Lady Ads’ full court pressure forced a turnover, then Griswold’s rebound basket trimmed the Powell edge to 39-38 at the 1:40 mark.

Farragut full court pressure forced a Lady Panthers walk, and Griswold’s three-point jumper from the corner gave FHS its first lead of the game, 41-39, with 1:16 remaining.

“Our press worked really well,” Cargo said. “I think we just wanted it more, and it showed in the end with our hustle.”

Anna Brinson, Farragut sophomore post, rebounded a missed Powell shot with 44 seconds left, and Farragut cashed in seconds later.

Beating full-court pressure, Cargo fed Griswold for a lay-up and a 43-39 lead with 37.3 seconds to play.

After one Powell free throw, Cargo went to the foul line with 16.4 seconds left and sank both tries, making it 45-40.

After a Lady Panthers’ air ball shot, Brinson capped the title game win with two free throws.

“This shows the fortitude of our girls,” Edmonds said. “They have faith in each other … they know they’re going to get it done.

“That gives me a lot of confidence in this group with two of our seniors injured and starting a freshman, and freshmen contributing a lot,” he added. “Powell’s a really, really good team.”

As for close games so far in the young season, “That’s all we’ve been playing this year,” Edmonds said. “Grind-it-out, make-some- free-throws kind of games.”

Cargo, also an All-tourney choice, added eight, with freshmen post Katie Overton and freshman wing Madison Blevins each hitting key three pointers.

Brinson had the late free throws while Whitney Smith, freshman starting wing, had one free throw.

Herman, Powell’s strong, physical post, scored a team-high 13. Torey Hyder added 11 for the Lady Panthers.

“Cargo, Hayley, Griswold are juniors, they went through a lot last year — we went through a lot of injuries last year,” said Edmonds, missing the services of senior point guard Alex Newby and senior wing Abbie Cooper, both out with injuries.

Edmonds added his juniors “have been in the fire and seen what it’s about. Anna Brinson’s a sophomore, she’s been in it, too.”

Seven first quarter points from Newby led Farragut, but the Lady Panthers took a 14-11 lead after one quarter behind seven points from Hyder.

A 7-2 FHS run was capped by Overton’s three-pointer to tie the game 20-20 with 3:58 left in the first half.

A Smith free throw, however, would be the last Lady Admirals points of the half, as Powell led 25-21 at the break.

Farragut twice fell behind by 11 in the third quarter, the last a 37-26 deficit at the 3:10 mark of the third.

A Griswold three-pointer and Newby basket helped cut the PHS lead to eight, 39-31, entering the final eight minutes.

 

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