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White strikes for 51
Senior standout guard sinks 27 free throws, leads state’s No. 3 ’Dawgs past Farragut


If Bearden’s Tony White Jr. had any critics before the Jan. 20 match-up against cross county rival Farragut, they were surely silenced as the senior guard exploded for a 51-point outburst to lead the Bulldogs to a 74-64 win at home.

In what started slowly for the senior guard the first several minutes into the game ended with a career high, tying his father, Tony White Sr.’s 51 points while playing for UT in 1987 against Auburn.

The performance fell 11 points short of the Bearden single game record of 62 points set by former Kentucky Wildcat Kent Hollenbeck against Rule in 1967.

White did however rewrite the Bearden record books with both free throws attempted and made, going 27-31 from the charity stripe. Matt Cox owned the previous record with 19 completed free throws in 2003 against Farragut and McGowan Anderson owned the attempts record with 21 against Karns in 1987.

White said he was in the mood to play as soon as he arrived at school Friday morning. “There was an incident where I heard that some Farragut students had said some stuff about me so that really got me in the mood right off,” White said. “But my teammates put me in a really great position to score.

“They made it happen for me, without them I wouldn’t be here right now talking to you.”

Bearden head coach Mark Blevins labeled White’s performance as “Spectacular, he’s had a few sensational performances and that was definitely by far his best. I guess his feelings were a little hurt when he got to school this morning and there was a little bit of graffiti about him and he was really inspired to play.”

White finished the first quarter with 15 points and had 24 by halftime and the state’s No. 3-ranked Bulldogs (23-1 overall and 8-1 in District 4-AAA entering the week) took a 39-22 lead into the break.

Farragut head coach Donald Dodgen said White’s effort “was the best performance in the ten years I’ve been here. We’ve never had a kid score fifty against us. ... We couldn’t stop Tony White. Tony’s just a great athlete. He just absolutely played as well as anybody I’ve seen play. He’s a class act, a classy kid.”

While the 17-point deficit going into the second half might have been too much to come back from, it didn’t stop the Admirals (10-10, 5-4) from trying.

Farragut’s B.J. Browning and Marcus Huie sparked a second-half rally that saw FHS down seven at the end of the third. Huie caused most of the damage by penetrating to the basket.

“I felt kinda bad at first, I wasn’t helping out much with the team,” Huie said, adding that similar to what he did late in the Jan. 13 game at Lenoir City, “I’m just driving in to the basket. If they double [team] me, I’ll kick it out or kick it down low.”

Based on how Bearden’s defense responded, “They just wanted me to drive in, so I’d just keep taking it, kept driving in,” Huie said.

Browning scored 13 of his 16 points in the third quarter on 5-5 shooting including three 3-pointers. The lead was cut even closer when Huie completed a three-point play making the score 55-53 with 5:27 left. “I thought those two stepped it up,” Dodgen said. “We were running a clear-out for Marcus, and if they doubled him, we had B.J. in one corner or [Will] Akers in the other corner to shoot the jumper out there. ... We kept waiting for them to stop Marcus, [but] they never stopped him to kick it to B.J. except twice, and we made both of those threes.”

Blevins commended Farragut’s relentlessness in the second half. “Defensively we played really well the first half,” the coach said. “Farragut made some shots and rallied and made several strong runs in the second half and we were up 17 at the half and maybe that was a little too much to overcome. But they really made a game of it and got it down to two so hats go off to them, they really played well.

“Huie made a lot of nice individual plays in the second half down the stretch and it’s just your typical Bearden-Farragut game.”

Huie finished the with 15 points, Scott Carroll 13 and Zach Onusic 11 for Farragut.

“The biggest significance for us is this is the 13th out of 14 years that we have won at least 23 games,” Blevins said.

 

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