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Behind Connor, smaller Irish race past ‘awful’ FHS, 56-44


Poor shooting, turnovers, an inability to consistently push the ball inside and a lack of aggressiveness added up to a miserable night for the Farragut High School boys basketball team at Knoxville Catholic last week.

"We played awful, absolutely awful,” FHS head coach Donald Dodgen said of his team’s 56-44 loss Thursday, Nov. 18. “We showed up not ready to play. We just did not do a real good job of anything tonight.”

Dodgen cited overconfidence.


“We came over here thinking we didn’t have to play real hard because Catholic is real small,” the FHS skipper said. “Catholic did a real good job of doing what they needed to do to beat us. They spread us out, and we just had a real hard time.”

In terms of scoring points, a combination of Irish guard Brett Connor and his red-hot shooting hand coupled with Farragut’s inability to hit a perimeter shot was critical.

While standout 6-foot-7 post Ben Bosse was limited to just six points (2 of 7 shots and two free throws) while playing more away from the baskets, the Ads had only one player in double figures.

Farragut’s record drops to 1-1 entering this week’s action.

Senior post Kyle Huckins scored 19 to lead FHS, 11 of those in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Connor kept the KCHS students roaring by nailing five three-point field goals en route to a game-high 25 points.

“We left him open a couple of times, and if you leave a good shooter open he’s going to knock it down most of the time, and that’s what he did tonight,” FHS guard Ben Wilson said of Connor.

Dodgen simply added, “He’s a great ballplayer.”

Meanwhile, “we’re trying to find some outside shooters,” Dodgen said about his guard and wing players. “But if we go defensively, it takes away from our offense. If we go offense, it takes away from our defense.”

“Teams are going to pack down in a zone all year long,” Wilson said. “We’re just going to have to hit outside shots and open up the middle for Bosse and Kyle.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well, we lacked intensity.”

Without an outside threat, the Admirals couldn’t stick it inside often enough to draw fouls. As a result, FHS earned only two free throws until the fourth quarter.

“We shot thirty percent from the free throw line (3 of 10), and that’s not going to win any ballgames,” Wilson said. “We’ve just got to go back and work on the fundamentals of shooting.”

By contrast, Catholic was 25 of 33 from the foul line, though several of those attempts came late in the game when Farragut was fouling in desperation.

As for the Irish plan of attack, “they kind of stalled it a little bit and made us get out of our game and get over-aggressive,” Wilson said.

In addition, “I know they out-rebounded us,” Dodgen said. "We had fourteen rebounds tonight. That’s not much.”

Matt Parton added 17 points for Catholic. Tremore Brown scored eight and Paul Thames four.

Wilson and Scott Carroll ended with six points each for Farragut. B. J. Browning had the Admirals’ only three-point field goal. Will Akers and Blake Denny each scored two.

Dodgen said he hopes junior guard Marcus Huie will continue to develop so he will soon take over starting point guard duties, allowing Wilson to move to the wing as shooting guard.

The FHS coach also said he’ll likely move Bosse back under the basket. “He and Kyle play so well inside together.”

CETRAL TOURNEY

After playing Powell Monday at PHS, the Ads began play in the Chop House Classic at Central High against Jefferson County Tuesday (both after press deadline). The winner plays at 5 p.m. Friday against the Central- Dobyns-Bennett winner. Losers play at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

The championship game is set for Saturday at 8 p.m.

 

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