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After pair of wins, punchless Ads fall to Lenoir City

LENOIR CITY — An unlikely foe cooled off the Farragut High School boys varsity basketball team Friday night, Jan. 13.

Perhaps fitting that a Friday the 13th game be played among the Halloween colors of Lenoir City High School’s gym, the Panthers won its first District 4-AAA of the season with a 50-41 victory.

The Admirals ended by shooting just 27 percent from the field.

Farragut, which fell to 9-9 overall and 4-3 in District 4-AAA, played its third game in four nights following home victories against Heritage (55-37) Jan. 10, and West (56-48) Jan. 12.

Against Lenoir City, “Nothing would work, we just didn’t play well,” FHS head coach Donald Dodgen said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well, we didn’t play defense very well. The kid that wasn’t supposed to hurt us, number one [guard Philip Helton] wore us out tonight.

“I told the kids this is a crazy sport, it’s like a roller-coaster,” Dodgen added. “I think we were tired a little bit, but I think we kinda overlooked ‘’em, they hadn’t won a district game. They won one tonight.

“Tonight, no one played well, and we didn’t coach well, either.”

From the players’ perspective, “We just weren’t ready to play in the first half ... it wasn’t until the fourth quarter that we actually got it started, picking it up,” junior forward Phil Kinney said.

Junior guard Mason Burks added that FHS lacked energy, adding, “They wanted it more than we did. They had a big guy inside, and we just couldn’t get it inside because they were blocking it up.”

Against Heritage and West, “We played together, we got the ball down low,” Burks added.

At LCHS, the Admirals never led while trailing by as much as six points in the first quarter as the shooting of Helton led the way. Helton, who scored six points in the first eight minutes, ended with a co-game high 14-points.

But Farragut’s B.J. Browning nailed a three-point basket that tied the game 15-15 with 2:04 left in the first half. All of Browning’s 10 points came in the first half, and he and fellow guard Marcus Huie led FHS with 10 each.

Ahead 20-17 at the half, Lenoir City was able to penetrate the Farragut defense and make timely baskets, adding up to a 13-3 run during the first 6:30 of the third quarter. With FHS senior post Scott Carroll on the bench in foul trouble for most of the quarter, it was 33-22 after three frames.

The Ads pulled to within five, 36-31, on a Huie rebound basket with four minutes to play, but the Panthers went back ahead 43-34 after a steal and three-point basket by Lucas Hamilton (No. 23) with 1:55 remaining.

However, Farragut rallied. Consecutive three-pointers from Phil Kinney, plus a blown LCHS lay-up, allowed the Ads to go on a 7-1 run and get possession of the ball down 44-41 with less than a minute to play.

But Kinney and Huie each missed a “three” and Helton converted two free throws with 30 seconds to play, making it 46-41.

Kinney had eight points, followed by Carroll with five and three each from Will Akers and Esean Phillips. Tyler Powell had two.

Hamilton also had 14 for LCHS, whose record improved to 1-6 in the district, 7-9 overall. Nathan Underwood (No. 5) scored 10.

Against Heritage, Akers led with 15 points followed by Huie and Browning with 10 each. Among the other scorers were Riley Hunley with four and Clay Wilhoite with two points.

In beating West, Browning scored a game-high 17 points followed by Akers with eight and Huie seven. Among other scorers was Zach Onusic’s two points.


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