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FHS hoops ‘gender gap’ widens
District-leading Lady Ads hold off W-Blount; FHS boys 0-3 in 4-AAA

MARYVILLE — The recent gender gap of Farragut High School basketball, the surging Lady Admirals and the struggling FHS boys, continued at William Blount Tuesday night.

Farragut's girls (8-1) retained sole possession of first-place in District 4-AAA (3-0) with a 64-56 win against the Lady Govs Dec. 15.

Wes Edmonds, Lady Ads head coach, changed his defensive gameplan in the final seconds before the third quarter began.

“I told them, to heck with that, just get after them, pressure the ball, attack the ball,” said Edmonds, whose girls promptly went on a 20-2 run to push a 29-25 halftime lead to 49-29 midway into the third quarter. “That’s what really made that turn in the third.”

Meanwhile, Farragut's boys were doomed by a deadly fourth-quarter scoring drought, managing only one free throw the first 7:50 and losing to the Govs 54-52.

“Finding little ways to lose, we’re missing little shots ... we’ve got to shoot the ball better and finish offensively,” said FHS head coach Donald Dodgen, whose Admirals drop to 6-4 overall and remain winless in district play at 0-3. (More on the Farragut boys later in this story)

Despite the 20-point lead, Edmonds’ FHS girls had to hang on late for victory.

A 10-0 Farragut blitz to begin the game evaporated just before halftime, but the Lady Ads managed the 29-25 lead at the break.

Alex Newby, FHS senior point guard playing just her third game of the season after recovering from an injury, scored 12 points, joining junior wing Katie Cargo (12) behind leading scorer Hayley Newby, a junior post with 15.

“It feels really good to be out here, finally healthy.” Alex Newby said. “I’ve been waiting for this.”

Five Lady Ads reached double figures in scoring, as Anna Brinson and Jessica Griswold each scored 11. Freshman wing Whitney Smith hit a big three-point basket late in the first half.

The Lady Govs (1-9, 0-4) were led by Tatrum Burstrom's 12.

Alex Newby's three-point basket and two assists highlighted the early portion of the 20-2 run early in the third frame. Six straight points from Griswold and five from Brinson added fuel to the fire.

Blowing a 22-14 led midway into the second quarter, Farragut's boys fought back from a five-point third quarter deficit.

A Wayman McLaughlin lay-up tied the game 37-37 at the 2:08 mark of the third, as a 9-2 Ads run gave the visitors a 44-39 lead after three quarters.

But FHS's scoring drought to begin the fourth quarter allowed a 7-0 Govs run and a 46-44 WBHS lead, for good, with 5:21 left.

Down 52-45 with under 15 seconds to play, Farragut almost pulled off a miracle — eventually earning possession with a chance to tie. Blake Williams' three-point basket with 10 seconds left was the first FHS field goal of the quarter, making it 52-48.

Williams then drew a WBHS offensive foul, and — with no time off the clock -— hit the first of two free throws. Down 52-49, Williams' missed free throw was rebounded by Admiral Reese Browning. But Browning missed under the basket and the Govs ended the issue with two free throws.

Williams led the Ads in scoring with 15, followed by Landon Hunley, Taylor Diegel and Stephen Britton with 10 each.

“They were playing some pretty good pressure defense, but we need to stick to our offense more and not get out of sync,” said Britton, a senior post.

Nicah Ballard paced William Blount (6-3, 2-2) with 16 points.


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