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Lady Ads guards too much for MHS; Boys lack ‘energy,’ fall

With Maryville's guards hemorrhaging turnovers in the first quarter, and with the Farragut Lady Admirals’ much improved perimeter shooting touch, a quick FHS double-digit lead stood up.

Meanwhile, Farragut's boys seemed a bit short on energy according to their head coach — despite a pair of comebacks versus the Rebels.

Failing to sink a big shot late that likely would have provided a photo finish, the Admirals fell 58-50 Friday night, Jan. 28, in FHS's Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium (More on FHS boys later in story).

Behind 17 points from senior wing Katie Cargo and 14 from senior wing Jessica Griswold, Farragut's girls grabbed a solid hold on second place in District 4-AAA (8-3, 19-4 overall) with a 53-41 win.

Griswold's trey of three-point jumpers, along with Cargo's hot perimeter hand, helped neutralize Maryville's zone defense in the first half.

“We've done a lot of shooting drills in practice, and that's led to us feeling more comfortable shooting in games,” Griswold said. “Personally, I love it when people play zone because we do get a chance to shoot more often.”

FHS head coach Wes Edmonds said, “That's kinda been what's been the change for us since Christmas, is our guards on the outside have a lot of confidence shooting the basketball. I don't want to say it was our Achilles heel, but we always worried about that.

“That's what kept me up at nights; I know they could hit them, they hit them in practice,” he added. “But could we make them in games? Since Christmas we have.”

Missing starting point guard Rebecca Singleton due to a shoulder injury, Maryville saw its guards commit nine turnovers in the opening eight minutes.

“She's their primary ballhandler, I think their best shooter,” Edmonds said. “We had a different gameplan going into this game” versus earlier in the season when beating Maryville at MHS.

“Over at their place we played a lot of zone, in this one we played a little bit more man[-to-man],” he added. “We wouldn't have pressed if [Singleton] was in there. And we probably wouldn't have played as much man as we did. ... We really pressured the guards and made it tough for them to see inside.”

The Lady Ads led 14-4 after one quarter and 31-17 at halftime.

All-Region 2-AAA post Miranda Maples' 15 second-half points — 18 total — helped Maryville (13-8, 7-4) cut the lead to seven late in the third and early in the fourth quarter.

Despite Farragut making just 5-of-12 free throws in the game's final 1:40, the Lady Rebels’ offense went cold down the stretch preventing a closer finish.

Other Lady Ads scorers were Hayley Newby 11, Katie Overton eight and Whitney Smith three.

When Farragut goes to its “big line-up” of posts Newby, Overton and Anna Brinson, “Katie Overton makes a big difference when we plug her in the middle, she's all of 6-feet and a really good shot blocker,” Edmonds said about the sophomore. “Isn't too scared about fouling ... really aggressive.”

Torie Vaught, MHS All-Region forward, was held to nine points.

Though FHS boys junior wing Blake Williams scored a game-high 21 and senior wing Taylor Diegel added 16, the Admirals likely will finish in the bottom half of 4-AAA's league standings (4-7, 11-11) after its loss to MHS.

“I don't have any explanation for it, I just don't think we had the same energy tonight that we did against Catholic [win at home Jan. 21] and we beat William Blount pretty handily Tuesday,” FHS head coach Chris Cool said. “We did not shoot the ball real well, from outside especially.

“We just didn't have the same energy on defense, either.”

Going more than four minutes without a point in the opening quarter, Farragut's boys fell behind 15-6 after eight minutes and trailed 25-21 at halftime.

Rebel wing Zach Stinnett's hot hand from long range helped the Red and Black visitors extend that lead. Stinnett's 11 points in the third quarter — including three 3-point baskets — fueled a 45-31 Maryville lead. Stinnett and Stian Romberg led MHS (10-11, 6-5) with 16 points each.

“We weren't moving at all in our 1-3-1 [defense] like we normally do. ... Stinnett, last time we played him, didn't even score,” Cool said. “The ball gets in the middle, everybody's sucking in, and then they kick it out and have a wide-open three.”

But a Williams basket, Diegel's fast-break assist to Williams for two more followed by Diegel's slashing drive and score cut the difference to 45-37 after three.

“I thought Taylor Diegel hit some big shots,” Cool said.

A DeMarcus Martin 10-footer and back-to-back Williams threes suddenly had Farragut within two, 49-47, with 4:10 to play.

“Fighting back, that's just how we play,” FHS senior point guard Craig Leuthold said. “We started scrapping, we had some good defense going. That transitioned to offense.”

Cool added, “Give our kids credit, they plugged away. We had three possessions to try and tie it or take the lead.”

But the Ads went almost three-and-a-half minutes without scoring another point, blowing chances on three straight possessions to tie or take the lead. Maryville grabbed breathing room at the foul line in the final minute.

Cool said Leuthold “gave us some energy on defense. Will Park [senior post] did some good things.”

Martin finished with nine points for FHS. Preston Spalding and Reed Haugh scored two each.


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