Admirals hang on against Wildcats

Admirals Miranda Burt, 5, splits Oak Ridge defenders Jada Guinn, 24, and Jasmine Hembry, 42, during opening round play of the Farragut Girls Thanksgiving Tournament Monday, Nov. 23, at FHS. It was a tale of two halves for the Farragut High School girls basketball team Monday night. Farragut couldn’t have scripted a better beginning for its first game of its Thanksgiving tournament.

The Admirals couldn’t have struggled more than it did over the final 16 minutes of their 52-39 victory over Oak Ridge at the Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium.

FHS (3-0) was hot early and it got some balanced scoring to open a 22-6 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Admirals went on to build on its advantage while the Wildcats (2-1) continued to struggle.

“We played pretty well in the first half,” Farragut coach Jason Mayfield. “We were 6-of-8 from [beyond the 3-point arc] in the first half and we got some contributions from all over the place and some of our younger kids stepped up for us.
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Rather’s late-game heroics lift Admirals

Admirals guard Alexander Rather, 20, battles for a rebound against Rams forwards Ben Connor, 22, and Connor Arnold, 41, during Thursday play, Nov. 19, at Grace’s Dr. Ron Stewart Gymnasium. Farragut High School boys basketball coach Chris Cool thought that he might have a scrappy team. And he turned out to be right, at least one night.

The Admirals overcame a halftime deficit en route to notching a 42-40 victory over Grace Christian Academy on Thursday, Nov. 19 at Grace’s Dr. Ron Stewart Gymnasium.

Farragut fought an uphill battle all night but finally wrested the lead from the Rams (0-2) when senior Alexander Rather converted a three-point play with 4.1 seconds to play. Rather made a field goal to give Farragut a 41-40 edge and was fouled on the play and knocked down the subsequent free throw.

“It felt good to pull this one out,” Rather said. “We were down almost the whole second half but our defense really stepped up after halftime.
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Short-handed FHS girls outlast Grace in OT

Admirals forward Brooke Christian, 2, covered by Rams guards Calynne Pridemore, 10, and Ashley Ellison, 12, during play Thursday, Nov. 19, at Grace’s Dr. Ron Stewart Gymnasium. Despite being short-handed, the Farragut High School girls basketball team past a tough early-season road test against Grace Christian Academy on Thursday, Nov. 19.

“We had some adversity,” Admirals’ coach Jason Mayfield said after his team notched a 45-42 overtime victory over the Rams at the Dr. Ron Stewart Gymnasium. “We were already without [sophomore point guard Keyonna Bourne, who suffered a knee injury during preseason workouts] and then we didn’t have [senior post player] Jaiden [McCoy, who was injured in Farragut’s season opener two days earlier].

“Then we had some adversity and a lot of that was self-inflicted because Grace did such a good job defensively. We had some trouble with their zone.”
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Hawks fast start not enough

Hardin Valley Academy's Tyler Thompson, 14, battles Powell's Charlie Richards, 23, for a loose ball during play Tuesday, Nov. 17, at HVA. Hardin Valley Academy’s boys basketball team opened its 2015-16 season with a loss on Tuesday, Nov. 17, but coach Keith Calloway found reason to be upbeat.

“I felt like we went away from what we wanted to do,” Galloway said after the Hawks came up on the short end of a 60-46 decision against Powell in the season opener for both schools at HVA. “We worked the ball down inside early and then we hit a couple of outside shot and that’s fine.

“But after that, we went away from trying to get the ball down low. We’ll get better and overall, I feel pretty good about this.”

The Hawks started fast and opened a 12-6 lead when Seth Long made a steal and a basket with 4 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in the opening frame.
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HVA girls get defensive in season-opening win

Hardin Valley Academy's Paige Gentry, 24, goes for the layup as Powell's Staley Hansen, 12, defends during play Tuesday, Nov. 17, at HVA. Hardin Valley Academy’s girls basketball team started its season on a winning note on Tuesday, Nov. 17. The Hawks got off to a fast start and cruised to 68-43 victory over Powell at home.

HVA (1-0) jumped to a 34-25 lead by halftime and pretty much set the tempo. The Hawks led 17-11 at the end of the first quarter and really blew things open when they scored the first nine points of the second quarter.

Hardin Valley enjoyed a height advantage against the Panthers (0-1) and the Hawks wasted little time taking charge by using that advantage.

Sophomore guard/forward Abbey Cornelius scored nine of her game-high 19 points in the first half to help HVA open its halftime lead.

“It’s always nice to start the season with a win,” Cornelius said. “This all started with our intensity on defense.

“That intensity led to us scoring on offense.”
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Young Bearden hoopsters split a pair of road games

When the Bearden High School boys basketball team opened its season last week, longtime coach Mark Blevins didn’t quite know what to expect.

And after two games, the veteran coach is still looking for his young squad to answer a few questions.

“We still really don’t know a lot about what we have right now,” Blevins said after the Bulldogs came back to notch a 77-70 victory over Grainger County in Rutledge Saturday night. “We have so many freshmen and so many new players on this team that it’s just a matter of trial and error.

“We were down most of the game [Saturday] night but were able to come back and get the win.”

Senior point guard Quez Fair scored 20 points to lead Bearden past the Grizzlies Saturday. Junior William Snyder added 15 and freshman Trent Stephney finished with 14 points.
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Bearden girls open season with two wins

Bearden High School point guard Holly Hagood has the most important points of the young 2015-16 season.

Hagood, a four-year varsity player for the Bulldogs, buried a 15-foot jumper as time expired to lift Bearden to a 54-52 victory at Grainger High School Saturday night.

“We were able to escape with a win,” BHS coach Justin Underwood said. “They did a great job and they were able to claw away at us all night. They had some composure.

“Their coach does a fantastic job with them but we defensed well and we were able to get some offensive flow.”

Sophomore guard Trinity Lee led the Bulldogs (2-0) with 19 points and Hagood finished with nine points and scored the game-winning basket at the buzzer.
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Strong start for KCS, Webb, CAK, Concord, KCHS

Knoxville Christian School boys basketball coach Randy Evans has discovered plenty of reasons to be excited this season,

KCS has won its first three games under the first-year head coach. The Knights will head into an extended holiday break with a 3-0 record. Knoxville Christian opened its season on Nov. 10 with a 77-46 victory over Cleveland Christian The Knights then routed Washburn 82-50 on Monday, Nov. 16.

The following day, the Knights survived a stiff test from Midway put came back to prevail 64-59.

“Midway gave us a great test and we didn’t play our best Evans said. “But I was pleased with our effort and I was pleased with our energy.

“We’re still trying to get our chemistry and Midway is a tough place to play. We have some new players and a new coach so we’re still trying to identify what kind of team that we want to be.”
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Mixed results for KCS, Webb, CAK, Concord, KCHS

A state title defense began on a sour note for the Webb School of Knoxville girls basketball team Saturday night.

The Spartans traveled to face Brentwood Academy in a battle of two-time defending Division II State Champions and Brentwood Academy claimed a 56-38 victory over the Spartans.

With the victory, the two-

time defending Division II-AA State Champion Eagles extended its winning streak to 28

games. Brentwood Academy last lost to Webb early in the 2014-15 season.

On this night, the Eagles avenged that loss in the season opener for both schools.

“We got beat and we didn’t look good,” Spartans coach Shelley Collier said. “We lost to a very good Brentwood Academy team. They’re going for a three-peat this year and I’d say they have a pretty good chance to get it.”
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Alcoa’s defense stifles Warriors in playoffs

Warriors running back Cole Welch, 34, runs into Alcoa territory off the hand off from CAK quarterback Cole Smith, 12, during play Friday, Nov. 13, at Alcoa. ALCOA — Christian Academy of Knoxville’s football team found itself in unfamiliar territory after its Class 3A Quarterfinal playoff loss. The opponent was a well-known one but the result had to be somewhat unexpected.

“This is the first time that we’ve been shut out in a long time,” Warriors’ coach Rusty Bradley said after his team dropped a 24-0 loss to Region 2-3A rival Alcoa Friday night at Bill Bailey Field. “I don’t know if we’ve ever been shut out since I’ve been here.”

Bradley has been CAK’s head coach for nine years and served as the team’s offensive coordinator for four years prior to taking the reins of the entire program.

“I’ve been at CAK for 13 years and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a defensive line like that one,” Bradley said after his squad had to punt on its first four possessions and could only muster four first downs and amassed only 91 yards of total offense. “Their defensive line is really athletic. They do a good job twisting and they bring pressure and they just overpower you.”

The Tornadoes (12-1) definitely overpowered the Warriors on this night. Alcoa sacked CAK junior quarterback Cole Smith eight times and held CAK (11-2) to a paltry five yards on the ground.
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