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FHS late push sinks ’Dawgs

For Bearden it was a different story with the same ending as they lost for the third-straight time to archrival Farragut this season.

Unlike their early season meeting at FHS that was a complete blowout until the Bulldogs made a late run, Friday night’s contest was similar to the Super 16 tourney final at BHS in December: Down to the wire.

“This is a huge win for us just simply because this is one of the better Bearden teams, I think,” Farragut head coach Donald Dodgen said of the 84-77 victory. “This is a tough place to play.”

Farragut entered the week with a 13-3 overall record, and is chasing Maryville in District 4-AAA with a 7-2 district mark as of Monday. Bearden entered the week 15-5 overall and 6-4 in the district.


The first quarter was a slow start for the Bulldogs as Farragut forced Bearden into turnovers on its first four trips down the court. Tim Torrence scored the Admirals first five points and finished the quarter with nine of his 22 points.

“The first four times we came down the court to start the game we had turnovers,” BHS head coach Mark Blevins said. “That’s just nerves, pure and simple just nerves. Until we can handle our nervousness it’s going to be hard for us to deal with the better teams.”

Bearden came out strong in the second and took the lead 21-18 with a 6-0 run. The Bulldogs extended their lead 30-24 as BHS guard Rande Sibley blazed the nets by nailing three consecutive three-point baskets.

Farragut’s Greg Gibson gave the Admirals a boost going into the half as he put up a prayer from mid-court that connected as time expired. Bearden led 37-34 at the half and increased its edge to 53-47 after three periods.

The start of the fourth changed the direction of the whole game. With Bearden having control, Farragut hit three straight three pointers on its first three possessions — two by Gibson and one by Jay Hunter — to start a 17-3 run.

“We had three missed assignments,” Blevins said. “Three of our sophomores each missed their guys and left them wide open. Farragut shoots those three’s like most teams shoot free throws.”

With 5:10 left Farragut took a 64-56 lead off Torrence’s short jumper from the baseline.

With both teams being in the bonus the pace of the game slowed and came down to a free throw shooting contest. Farragut won the battle mainly because of Gibson, who went 11-of-12 from the line in the fourth quarter and scored 17 of his game high 27 points in the final quarter.

“We make free throws down the stretch,” Dodgen added. “(Greg) Gibson, (Nolan) Nevels, Michael Wright. We made free throws when we needed to make them.”

Gibson easily earned TnBank’s Player of the Week honor after starting the week with a sizzling 36-point effort in an 82-76 loss at South-Doyle Jan. 20.

Bearden was led by Holliday’s 18 points. The Bulldogs had three other players in double digits: Sibley, who was named TnBank Player of Week by Blevins, had 15 points. Tony White finished with 16 and Michael Scruggs ended with 13.

Kyle Huckins had 14 for Farragut followed by Jay Hunter with 11.

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