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BreadBox 16 ‘Super’ for FHS before loss

While teammate Michael Wright (22) looks on, Farragut’s 6-foot-6 junior post Ben Bosse (blue) goes up for this rebound basket over the outstretched arm of Bearden defender Thomas Wiley during the finals of the BreadBox Super 16 boys high school tourn- Photos by Marty McCool/
Trailing Bearden for almost three full quarters, Farragut grabbed only its second lead of the game with 6:37 to play, then made enough big defensive plays and free throws to claim victory.

The Admirals’ exciting 67-63 win in the boys championship game of the annual BreadBox Super 16 basketball tournament at Bearden High School Dec. 30 allowed FHS three claims of pride: Back-to-back victories versus arch-rival Bearden for the first time in several years; its second Super 16 title in three years, and a perfect 10-0 record.

(Farragut did lose Saturday at Maryville, falling to 10-1. See story on this page).

A handful of critical defensive plays while converting eight-of-12 free throws during the final four-and-half minutes of the game allowed the Admirals to reign supreme.

“Toward the end of the game we just picked up our defense,” said senior guard Greg Gibson, who was named tournament most valuable player. “We put pressure on ’em. We weren’t going to come out losers tonight.”

However, FHS head coach Donald Dodgen wasn’t impressed with his team’s play until late in the fourth quarter.

“It’s hard to explain, we played about as badly as we’ve played all year,” Dodgen said. “I think Bearden played well ... but at the end we found a way to win.

“With about four minutes left in the ballgame, we looked up and here we go, a big rebound, big steal, big free-throw, big shot, big defensive play, and the game’s over,” Dodgen added about his team’s late push. “These (FHS) kids, they bend but they don’t break. And we had two people foul out.”

Post Tim Torrence, who led FHS with 22 points while earning a spot on the All-tournament team, played with four fouls during the final 5:12 of the game. The 6-foot-4 senior grabbed a handful of huge rebounds late and converted six-of-10 free throws in the final period, most of those at the very end.

In addition, Farragut’s other two most experienced big men were also saddled with four fouls each at the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter. Senior Jay Hunter, who ended with 10 points, fouled out with 2:52 left.

Junior 6-foot-6 post Ben Bosse fouled out with 53 seconds remaining, but not before coming up with a huge block and a huge steal late. He finished with five points.

Gibson added 12 points for the winners, including 4-of-4 on free throws during the final 2:41.

Bulldog senior post Jeremy Holliday led BHS with 16 points, followed by Grant Domsic with 10. Bearden, who went on to win at Cocke County 68-60 Saturday (see story, page 12), was 12-3 overall entering the week.

"We competed for a half to about two and half quarters," BHS head coach Mark Blevins said. "We’ve got to be able to finish games."

Gibson said the Admirals now have a new attitude when playing the Bulldogs, much different than the past three seasons during which BHS won nine time in 10 games. “I think in the past we’d come in, and we knew we were the underdog,” the senior said. “Now we’re coming in and we’re just trying to put the pressure on them.”


After Bearden’s Michael Scruggs stole the ball in backcourt and converted a reverse lay-up to tie the game 59-59 with 2:20 left, Farragut junior post Kyle Huckins quickly buried a 10-foot baseline jumper to make it 61-59 Ads at the 2:10 mark.

Despite his four fouls, Bosse swatted away a Scruggs driving shot, and the Admirals had the ball with 1:55 remaining. One Torrence free throw made it 62-59 a few seconds later, then Torrence raked down two defensive rebounds and converted on 2-of-4 free throw attempts for a 64-59 lead at the 1:02 mark.

Holliday earned a rebound basket while drawing a foul and sending Bosse out of the game with 53 seconds to play. The free throw was missed, but BHS got the ball back 10 seconds later.

Admiral Michael Wright was both a goat and a shining defensive star within a few seconds. The junior wing lost the ball, and the Bulldogs looked to tie with 40 second to play. But Wright more than made up for his mistake by stealing the ball from Domsic as the BHS sophomore drove to the hoop with 33 seconds to play.

“Michael Wright probably made one of the biggest steals, it changed the complexion of the ballgame I think,” Dodgen said.

Gibson converted two free throws to make it 66-61 with 29 seconds to go. A Holliday rebound basket with 16 seconds showing cut it to three, but Bearden — looking to force a turnover which it almost pulled off — did not foul until only 4.9 seconds were showing.

Torrence hit the second of two free throws to seal the victory.


After an early 6-5 FHS lead turned into a 15-6 Bearden edge thanks in part to a pair of threes from Paul Dickenson and Mario McClunie — and tough ‘Dawg defense — BHS would go on to lead 37-30 at the half.

Down 39-32 early in the third quarter, FHS got driving baskets from Gibson, Torrence and Hunter to make it 39-38.

Torrence’s steal and fast-break lay-up followed by Wright’s 10-foot jumper gave the Admirals their first lead since 6-5, a 46-45 edge with 6:37 left in the game.

The lead see-sawed into the final two-and-a-half minutes.

Other BHS scorers were Domsic and White with nine each, and B.J. Ware with seven. Scruggs added five, McClunie three, while Rande Sibley and Thomas Wiley had two apiece.

Huckins scored 11 for Farragut, with Wright adding four and Nolan Nevels three.

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