KNOXVILLE — Saying he “pleaded” with his guards “to get the ball inside” during a halftime speech, coach Jon Higgins got the message across to his Farragut Admirals varsity boys team.
Senior post Nick Stedham scored 16 of his game-high 23 points in the second half, and fellow senior post Caleb Thompson added 17, as FHS overcame a 6-point halftime deficit at West — going on a 24-5 run for an eventual District 4-AAA road win.
Farragut fought off a Runnin’ Rebels’ fourth quarter rally, scoring the game’s final five points from the free throw line in the last 50 seconds, to edge West 50-46 at WHS Friday night, Dec. 1.
Meanwhile, breaking out of an offensive slump, the Farragut Lady Admirals more than doubled up West on the scoreboard.
Claire Wyatt, sophomore wing, scored 12 in the second quarter and ended with a game-high 17 points in an easy 59-29 district win. (More on Farragut’s girls later in this story).
Irish rip Beech, grab 5A crown
With the scoreboard in back telling the story in Tucker Stadium at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Knoxville Catholic players and coaches celebrate a 45-28 Class 5A state championship victory versus Beech Thursday night, Nov. 30. Head coach Steve Matthews, far left holding plaque, has now led his Irish to a pair of state championship during the past three seasons. It’s the program’s third football state crown in school history. COOKEVILLE — For the second time in three years, Knoxville Catholic High School has brought home a gold ball.
The Irish defeated Beech 45-28 in the Class 5A state championship game Thursday, Nov. 30, in Tennessee Tech University’s Tucker Stadium.
KCHS, which won the Class 4A state title in 2015, darted out to a 17-0 lead against the previously undefeated Buccaneers, who hail from Hendersonville.
For Catholic, the victory culminated a campaign where the goal was to win a gold ball — any other outcome would have been considered a disappointment.
“This is a great group of young men and they’ve been a privilege to coach,” KCHS head coach Steve Matthews said. “We lose 12 seniors and most of them are going on to play college football.
HARDIN VALLEY — Hardin Valley Academy’s girls basketball team notched a comeback victory in a key District 4-AAA game Friday night, Dec. 1, at HVA.
The Lady Hawks erased a nine-point deficit en route to defeating powerful Bearden 51-46.
“We just kept chipping away," HVA head coach Jennifer Galloway said.
Meanwhile, the Hawks boys basketball team played District 4-AAA favorite Bearden evenly for three quarters. The two rivals were knotted in a 47-47 deadlock heading into the fourth quarter.
But with the game’s outcome hanging in the balance, the Bulldogs turned up the offensive pressure — scoring 41 points in the fourth quarter — for an 88-63 victory (more on this game later in the story).
The Lady Hawks (6-1 overall, 3-0 in the district) picked up a crucial early-season win, but Bearden (6-3, 1-2) opened a 14-5 lead by the end of the first quarter.
When Bobby Hampshire took over as head coach of the Farragut High School wrestling team three years ago, he vowed to rebuild the program — starting nearly from scratch.
But the Admirals, who have had success on the mats since Hampshire arrived, are off to a fast start this season.
They had a night of mixed results in Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium Thursday, Nov. 30.
Farragut (5-1 in dual meets in 2017-18) opened the night with a 42-21 victory over Powell. The Ads then beat a combined team from Carter and Cumberland County 41-30, before losing the evening’s finale to Webb School of Knoxville 36-33.
Against the Panthers, Tyler McKeefery picked up Farragut’s first win as he pinned Powell’s Tanner Messer in just 40 seconds in the 120-pound division.
Farragut’s Ryan Preiss maneuvers through Ice Dawgs Hunter Wilkes, left, and John Raleigh during first period action of this Ice Admirals-Bearden showdown Wednesday evening, Nov. 29, at Cool Sports Home of the Icearium. Farragut won 3-1.A perfect record stayed intact for Farragut High School hockey Wednesday, Nov. 29. But the Admirals’ victory versus the Bearden Ice Dawgs didn’t come easily.
Farragut edged BHS 3-1 at Cool Sports Home of the Icearium in what turned out to be its stiffest test of the young Knoxville Amateur Hockey Association High School League season.
“We played well but we really didn’t put enough pressure on them. ... They are a talented hockey team,” FHS head coach Jeff Lindsay said.
The Ice Dawgs (1-2-1) got a stellar effort from goaltender Mathieu Senechal, who faced 17 shots and made 15 saves.
Having beaten Bearden 8-3 to open the season Nov. 1, Farragut (4-0) didn’t seal victory until Davis Eichelberger scored an empty-net goal with 49.4 seconds left in the contest. “I’m proud of our team and I’m proud of the boys in general,” said Eichelberger, who also had an assist on the Ads’ first marker of the night. “We had a good team effort tonight and we just want to win.”