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Ads waste super start, lose to McMinn Central


Eight minutes into its Super 16 Tournament basketball game against then unbeaten Class AA power McMinn Central, the Farragut Admirals played like they were the unbeaten team.

With inside dominance from FHS senior post Scott Carroll, efficient passing and limiting the cold-shooting Chargers to only one shot, Farragut zoomed ahead 17-3 and upped the edge to 23-7 after one quarter. But the FHS turnovers started piling up, and McMinn Central heated up with fastbreak lay-ups and improved overall shooting.

The Chargers caught and passed FHS by halftime, 32-30, built an 11-point lead after three quarters, withstood a late Ad push and beat Farragut 69-63 in the first round of tourney play at Bearden High School Monday, Dec. 26.


“We make some unforced turnovers, get behind, we miss key free throws … we’re just playing on the defensive … playing a little nervous,” FHS head coach Donald Dodgen said. “And I just didn’t do a good job of getting them where they needed to be. … I probably had some bad lineups in there, but we got in bad foul trouble.

“I feel sorry for them, they played hard,” Dodgen added. “We played well enough to win, that’s just what kills ’yah.”

The loss dropped Farragut’s overall record to 5-6, while Central’s record improved to 13-0. Both teams finished the Super 16 tourney with two extra games, played Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 27-28 (after press deadline). The Admirals were battling in the loser’s bracket.

Carroll, who dominated in the paint early with 10 first quarter points, ended with a team-high 16.

Attempting to rally his team, junior guard Will Akers scored 12 in the fourth quarter and ended with 15. Mason Burks scored eight, B.J. Browning six, and Phil Kinney five points. Zach Onusic scored four along with Marcus Huie, while Riley Hunley and Tyler Powell each had two points.

Huie and Burks both fouled out late in the game.

Central standout wing Beau Brown (No. 33) scored a game-high 21 points. Casey Browder (No. 23) and Blake Derrick (No. 21) each scored 17.

FULTON 65 FARRAGUT 55

Farragut’s unproductive third quarter on the scoreboard and Fulton’s productive scoring in the paint, especially in the second half, vaulted the visiting Falcons to a 65-55 win in Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium Wednesday, Dec. 21.

“We only score six points in the third quarter ... we just made some bonehead plays at times, we made some turnovers at times, we’re just our own worst enemy at times,” Dodgen said, as a three-point halftime lead became a four-point deficit after three. “Don’t get me wrong, Fulton’s a good ballclub. They’ve got a lot of pressure, they’ve got a lot of athleticism.”

Outscored 13-6 in the third quarter, “my two leading scorers didn’t score in the third quarter,” Dodgen said of Browning and Akers.

However, Browning nailed five three-point baskets and ended with a game-high 21 points. He was the only Admiral in double-figures. Browning’s three 3-pointers in the final period helped keep Farragut within single digits of the Falcons.

“B. J.’s played a couple of good ballgames, he’s playing well,” Dodgen said of his senior guard’s latest performances.

Huie scored 10 points and dished out five assists, Akers scored eight, followed by Carroll with six points and Burks with five points and six assists. Esean Phillips scored three and Kinney two points. “You’ve got to have more people in double figures,” Dodgen said.

With a decisive bulk advantage inside, Fulton senior post LaRay Ash led the Falcons with 17 points, 10 in the fourth quarter. Eight of those came during a decisive spurt. James Gallman added 13.

Another factor was turnovers. According to Dodgen, Farragut ended with 25 turnovers. “We didn’t handle their pressure very well at all,” the coach said. “It’s hard to simulate that pressure in practice. ... And we did not do a good job of boxing out.” Fulton committed 13 turnovers.

Down 16-14 after one frame, Farragut closed the half on an 8-0 run. Trailing 29-24 with less than three minutes to play in the second quarter, Farragut rallied to tie 29-29 on Phillips’ three-pointer with 1:39 remaining in the half. After Huie’s steal with less than 15 seconds left, the senior converted a fast-break lay-up and free throw following a foul put the Admirals ahead 32-29 at the break.

Though Dodgen said the third quarter was the turning point, the Admirals managed to grab a 38-36 lead on Kinney’s two free throws with 2:23 remaining in the period. But that would prove to be Farragut’s only points during the final four minutes of the quarter.

Meanwhile, Fulton successfully attacked the hoop for three short baskets and a 42-38 lead after three quarters.

After a Browning “three” cut the Falcon led to 46-44 with 5:45 left in the game, Ash went to work and Fulton pulled away.

A short basket and free throw on a three-point-play, a rebound basket, two free throws after drawing a foul under the hoop and another rebound basket — all by Ash — came in a 2:06 span and gave the visitors a 55-44 lead with 3:24 to play.

“He’s a handful, he’s a real physical player,” Carroll said. “And a lot of times they did a great job of getting him the ball in one-on-one situations.”

Farragut pulled to within six, 57-51, on two Burks free throws with 1:57 to play, but got no closer.

 

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