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Huge 23-2 run keys 87-73 FHS boys’ dominant performance

Farragut High School post player Tim Torrence attempts to rake down a rebound while surrounded by Bearden players during Friday night’s rival showdown at FHS.- Marty McCool/
Bearden came into last Friday night’s game at arch-rival Farragut with a 7-0 overall record and overflowing confidence, considering most of those wins were blowouts.

But the Admirals, themselves carrying a perfect 3-0 record, used great defense and fast breaks to reel off a 23-2 run and turn a 21-20 lead into a 44-22 edge in about six minutes.

Bearden finally got in sync in the fourth quarter, scoring 33 of its 73 points during the period and cutting a 55-28 lead to 78-68 with two minutes to play.

But the Admirals hit key free throws down the stretch — led by Tim Torrence going 8-of-8 at the line when things got tight during the final 2:07 — and Farragut claimed a huge 87-73 victory.

“Farragut really played outstanding and just took it to us,” Bearden head coach Mark Blevins said. “We just didn’t have anything to counter with until right at the end of the game when we made a run.”

The win was also Farragut’s first home victory against Bearden since the 1999-2000 season when both teams’ seniors were in the eighth-grade. Bearden had won nine of the last 10 games.

“It’s a big boost, the first time beating Bearden at home for me and Greg (Gibson),” said senior wing/post Jay Hunter. “I couldn’t sleep last night (Thursday).”

Torrence led the Admirals with a game-high 22 points while Gibson was close behind with 19. Gibson also hit key free throws late.

“We played well, we played with intensity, we had people come off the bench,” FHS head coach Donald Dodgen said. “We played real good defense, we made some runs.”

There was one other factor.

“Coach (Lynn) Sexton made the pre-game speech tonight, he deserves the win more than anybody else,” Dodgen said of the highly successful former FHS coach. “You’ve got a legend here ... there’s only one Admiral.”


Farragut opened the game with great defense that produced fast break opportunities for the Admirals. It was evident from the beginning that the FHS defense was aimed at controlling the inside presence of standout Bearden post Jeremy Holliday.

Farragut took the early advantage with an 16-11 lead after the first quarter.

It was 21-20 at the midway point of the second quarter when Farragut used the same formula that they did in the first period, causing turnovers for easy fast break points.

“We made some changes on defense,” Dodgen said. “I think our defense creates our offense ... we had fresh legs, it was just a heck of a run we made, and when we made that run it kind of got to them. But they (Bearden) never quit.”

The Admirals closed out the half on a 19-2 run in the last 4:15. Farragut’s lead was 40-22 at the break.

“I’m going to tell you one kid that really gave us a spark, and that was Nolan Nevels,” Dodgen said of his 6-foot-3 junior reserve wing. “Nolan came in when we made that run. He makes things happen, he’s got so much energy. He makes a big three, he makes a lay-up, he makes a three-point play, he makes a steal. When he came in we got energized.”

Not much changed for the Bulldogs in the third as Farragut opened up with a 15-to-5 run and extended their lead to 55-27. When the quarter ended the Admirals led 63-40.


The Bulldogs used good pressure to create turnovers for easy buckets and rallied. Paul Dickenson hit a huge three at the one-minute mark to cut the lead to 82-73. But FHS converted free throws, and improved its District 4-AAA mark to 2-0 entering the week.

In explaining Bearden’s rally, “more than anything it was pride, pride and character of the players kind of took over,” Blevins said. “Even though it looked like we were going to lose by a lot there. We just had to dig in there.”

Holliday finished Friday night’s game with a team high 18 points. Grant Domsic and Michael Scruggs also tallied 11 points apiece for Bearden, who dropped to 1-1 in District 4-AAA.

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