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Ads lose, Lady Ads win at Lenior City

LENOIR CITY — The jubilant Farragut High School girls basketball team was greeted by an unusual question after a 52-41 comeback victory against Lenoir City.

“What is today’s date?” FHS head coach Wes Edmonds asked in the locker room a couple of minutes after the win.

“Tuesday, January the 19th,” someone said.

“Good,” Edmonds said. “I just wanted everyone to remember the date that Anna Brinson became a woman on the basketball court.”

Admittedly prone to shy away from contact in the past, the sophomore post player hit a key 3-pointer and grabbed 10 rebounds.

“We were really pumped up in the first half, but just didn’t play well enough,” Brinson said after scoring 10 points. “We were really fired up in the second half and determined not to lose a third game in a row.”

Farragut made 23-of-26 free throws, including 13 consecutive in the fourth quarter.

The District 4-AAA victory followed losses to Maryville and Bearden in league play.

“Anna was a little bit of a crier earlier in her career, especially if she got knocked down,” Edmonds said. “You could see the tears well up in her eyes and her cheeks would get a little puffy.

“Well, she was very aggressive in this game. I just wanted everybody to remember the date because she finally became a woman on the basketball court,” he added. “It was great to see.”

Meanwhile, the Farragut boys fell behind 8-2 to hot-shooting Lenoir City and never got closer than six points in an 83-70 loss. (More on this game later in story)

The Lady Ads (14-5, 6-2) were led by Hayley Newby’s 16 points. The junior post standout was perfect on eight foul shots in the fourth quarter.

Katie Cargo added 11 points. Alex Newby and Jessica Griswold combined for 12 and sparked a fullcourt press that helped force 20 turnovers.

Alex Newby scored all seven of her points late in the third quarter as Farragut took its first lead.

The Lady Panthers committed 14 turnovers in the second half, including eight in the third quarter.

“The press was a huge factor in the second half,” Brinson said. “Everybody was encouraging each other and that was very important.”

Freshman post Katie Overton added a left-handed lay-up after a strong rebound. Former Lenoir City middle school student Whitney Smith also played for Farragut.

“I challenged the other girls to step up because Hayley and Katie did all of scoring against Bearden except for seven points,” Edmonds said. “The other girls stepped up and answered the call.” Farragut did not have the lead in the first half, but trimmed the deficit to 20-19 by intermission.

Brinson’s 3-pointer early in the third quarter tied the score at 22-22 and Griswold’s free throws late in the quarter put Farragut ahead to stay.

fhs boys fall short

A sluggish start by the Admirals and torrid shooting by three diminutive guards were too much to overcome.

“We started out to slow,” said Reese Browning, senior wing who scored a career-high 24 and sparked a fourth quarter rally. “We knew Lenoir City had one really good shooter, but didn’t expect everybody to come out hitting like that.”

Browning hit five 3-pointers. He also scored nine points early in the fourth quarter as Farragut sliced the deficit to 61-55.

His previous career high was 20 points in a Christmas tournament win versus Sequoyah at Lenoir City last month. “Reese is a gamer,” FHS head coach Donald Dodgen said. “He played very hard. We cut it to six and then had three straight possessions where we got absolutely zero.” Blake Williams added 13 points and Landon Hunley scored 10 for FHS despite a tough shooting night in a poorly lit gym.

Also scoring for the Ads were Wayman McLaughlin (7), Stephen Britton (6), Trevlyn Singleton (5), Will Park (3) and Nick Bender (2).

Farragut dropped to 12-7 and 3-5 in league play.

The Ads hit 12-of-19 free throws, compared to Lenoir City’s 31-of-35.

“We have got to start winning some games down the stretch,” Dodgen said. “We came out flat and you just can’t do that on the road against a good team and expect to win.”


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