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Williams, Ads stun Catholic
FHS girls crush Lady Irish

It's not a matter of Blake Williams getting the green light to shoot as Farragut's top all-around scoring threat.

It's all about letting his teammates help him do it, which worked quite well in FHS's Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium Friday night, Jan. 21.

“I know that Brian [Park], Craig [Leuthold], Taylor [Diegel], they can all handle the ball now, I know it's in good hands,” said Williams, a junior wing whose scorching hot shooting touch resulted in 39 points leading Farragut to its biggest win of the season, beating Knoxville Catholic 73-59.

It was an FHS sweep as Farragut's girls routed the Lady Irish, 57-29 (more later on this story).

FHS boys head coach Chris Cool labeled it “a signature win by these guys and this program,” adding Williams “is a great scorer” who doesn't have to get points “just driving and dribbling all the time.

“Normally, Blake would have come down thinking 'this is crunch time, I've got to get it done, I've got to carry these guys,' and he would have taken a shot he didn't need to take,” Cool added.

“This time, he worked it around and cut — that's where he is growing as a player. He can get it to people and we can get it back to him.”

A fast start by the Ads — 16-4 lead early and 37-24 at the half — plus outstanding free throw shooting in the final 2:15 of the game allowed Farragut to improve to 10-10 overall, 3-6 in District 4-AAA.

Catholic fell to 12-5, 6-3 as 6-foot-8 senior starting post Joey Bodewig saw limited first-half playing time — none in the second half — and did not score.

Phillip Stephens, 6-foot-6 senior post, led the Irish with a team-high 14 points. “We didn't come out as hard as we usually do,” he said. “We usually start off great, but not tonight.”

The Ads hit 14 of 15 free throws during the final 2:15, including 4-of-4 from senior point guard Leuthold, 2-of-2 from freshman point Park and eight straight from Williams in the final 60 seconds.

Catholic charged back behind 10 third-quarter points from sophomore wing Kyle Anders.

Anders’ lay-up cut the lead to 46-45 with 51 seconds left in the third quarter before the Irish grabbed its only lead in the final three-and-a-half quarters.

Stephens’ spinning basket less than 10 seconds into the final quarter put KCHS up 47-46.

But Diegel, a senior wing, answered with a three-point basket from the corner, followed by seven Williams points ending with a three-point basket making it 56-49 Ads with 4:19 remaining.

Park scored nine for Farragut, followed by junior post Reed Haugh with eight, Leuthold seven, Diegel and DeMarcus Martin four each, and Preston Spalding two points.

“I thought Craig Leuthold did a lot of good things for us,” Cool said. “I thought Brian Park hit some unbelievable shots, and the kid's just a freshman.”

Spalding, who went to middle school with several KCHS players, said it “feels really good” to win “because they always talk down to us and how we're at Farragut and we can't do anything.”

Senior wing Matt Cox scored 13 for Catholic, followed by senior point guard Lucas Branch with 12 and Anders' 10.

Vic Wharton scored five for KCHS, followed by Daniel Adams three and Chris Cox two points.

Hayley Newby's game-high 22 points and a struggling opponent combined to make things easy for Wes Edmonds' FHS girls.

A leg-weary Knoxville Catholic team was playing its third game in five days. Farragut improved to 17-4 overall, 6-3 in District 4-AAA. Catholic fell to 4-13, 1-9.

Lady Ads junior post Anna Brinson scored 11. “My goal is to get more aggressive every game,” said Brinson, who nailed a pair of three-point baskets and a dribble drive score highlighting the effort.

“I've had to figure out when's the appropriate time to shoot and when to, like, pass.”

“Anna's come a long way with that,” Edmonds said. “It's been an adjustment for her to be aggressive offensively.”

Katie Cargo added nine for FHS, followed by Jessica Griswold with six, Caylee Carter five, Madison Blevins three and Courtney Ingram one point.

Blevins, a sophomore, has started at point since late December following an ankle injury to sophomore point Whitney Smith.

“I've learned to be a smarter player, not to throw crazy passes,” she said. “Just to calm down and not worry about it. Just go out there and have fun.”

Carolyn Williamson's eight points led KCHS, followed by Erin Kenny with seven, Rachel Dunn five, Catherine Holland three and two each for Abby McCollough, Tara Hoover and Clare Conaty.

KCHS head coach David Ball said his girls were coming off competitive efforts in losses to Heritage and William Blount earlier in the week where “we fought our rear ends off.”

“When we start making shots, we're going to be a good team,” he added.


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