Hanging on

Rogers, McKay, Ads hold off West late push

In the first half last Friday at Farragut, West managed to sink just three baskets in the first 15 minutes against Chris Cool’s defense.

However, the Runnin’ Rebels got hot after the break, converting nine three-point baskets following halftime in FHS’s Lynn E. Sexton Gym-nasium Friday night, Jan. 27.

Unlike the Admirals’ disappointing finish at West in early December, losing after blowing a 13-point lead with six minutes to play, this time Farragut made big shots and fewer turnovers late in a tight game.

Senior Shawn McKay’s nine points in the final 3:11, including a pair of three-point baskets, helped the Admirals hold off West 64-62 in a District 4-AAA clash.

McKay’s lay-up with 35 seconds to play, off a feed from senior guard Nick Rogers (game-high 29 points), made it 59-56 Admirals. From there it was Chris Dalton, junior guard, going 4-of-4 at the line to help seal the victory.

“It was just the heat of the moment I guess,” McKay said.

“I wanted to shoot the ball and I thought I could make it, so I said, ‘let it rip,’” McKay added. “If you’re feeling it, why not shoot it.”

“Shawn has always been a real good scorer and an unbelievable shooter,” coach Cool said. “… And he’s turned up his defensive pressure on the other end.”

“We knew they were going to press us the whole time. We knew what their press was going to be so we tried not to dribble as much, pass it up, and that’s how we got past it,” Rogers, a senior guard, said.

While both teams were tied at 4-7 in district play after this game, Farragut improved to 9-11 overall.

Going to a four-guard lineup early in the fourth quarter, “We really worked in practice on looking up the court with our guards,” Cool said. “Last time we played them. … Our guards tried to beat it off the dribble” resulting in multiple turnovers and a loss.

“And I showed it to them on tape, and we worked on it two solid hours,” Cool added. “I thought, for the first time this year, our guards looked upcourt whenever they got trapped and got it to people. And we passed the ball around to get lay-ups. It’s hard to defend when you’re going to sell out and you pass it over the top and you hit people cutting. We got a ton of lay-ups doing that tonight.”

With Farragut holding the Runnin’ Rebels to just 12 first-half points with its 1-3-1 zone defense, “I thought we did a super job,” Cool said.

However, “in the second half I thought one thing that caused us trouble was they pushed the ball real quick in transition and we didn’t get back well enough,” Cool said. “We were in scramble mode most of the time and they got open looks.”

Chance Bolen, FHS senior post, scored 10 points, followed by Ethan Sherrill, junior guard, with eight. Luke Moeller and Tre Moreno each scored two.

Jaden Gibbs, sophomore starting post, was out with an ankle injury. Cool didn’t know Friday night how long Gibbs would be out.

Ziven Clark’s 19 points led West followed by Runnin’ Rebel teammate Juwaun Moore with 17, including 5 three-point field goals.