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Chop House crown for FHS boys
Ads rally past Austin-East then blister South-Doyle

While Farragut adjusted to Austin-East’s team speed in time to rally in the Chop House Classic semifinals, South-Doyle had little clue against the Admirals’ red-hot three-point shooting, defense and overall hustle in the finals. Farragut beat the Cherokees in a 72-53 rout to win the annual Chop House Classic championship Saturday night at Central High School while improving its record to 5-0 entering the week.

FHS head coach Donald Dodgen said the key to his team’s success Saturday was nailing 13 of 17 three-point basket attempts, adding he didn’t recall a better three-point performance in his 10 previous seasons at FHS.

“Coach has been getting us in the gym early on in the day ... he helps us find our rhythm,” said senior guard Will Akers, who led the champs in scoring with 21 points Saturday.

As for a key to success throughout the tournament — including a 73-61 semifinal win against Austin-East Friday, Nov. 24 — “Patience, handling the press, not hurrying, not worrying about picking up the tempo and playing to their tempo,” Akers added. “I thought we controlled the tempo of both games.”

Senior post Phil Kinney, one of four FHS All-Tournament selections who hit three 3-point baskets in the second quarter Saturday after nailing all 10 of his free throws versus A-E, said hitting the boards hard for rebounds “was our first priority ‘cause they were a little bigger than us.” He added that “team unity, no one-on-one stuff” and “limiting turnovers” were other keys factors.

Explaining reasons for his team’s 5-0 start, “Our bench is so deep,” Dodgen said. “You play two or three nights in a row in a tournament like this, you wear yourself down.

“And we’re not as quick as some teams, but we play hard defense.”

Kinney was joined on the All-Tournament team by three Admirals who didn’t even start the title game: senior post Clay Wilhoite, junior point guard Riley Hunley and junior wing John Abraham. “Those three played well,” Dodgen said. “And Phil played well, he shot the ball well.”

Wilhoite said, “I really liked how we handled ourselves in the tough times. We just kept our composure throughout the tournament.”

Farragut’s tourney trek began Tuesday, Nov. 21, with a 71-53 win against Karns, as four Admirals reached double-figures in scoring: Akers 15, Kinney 14, Wilhoite 13 and senior post Zach Onusic 10.

FHS 72 SDHS 53

Akers scored seven in the first-quarter as Farragut led 15-12 after one. Though the Ads fell behind briefly, 19-18, Abraham’s three-pointer with 3:20 left in the first half gave Farragut a lead it would not relinquish.

Two of Kinney’s second-quarter three-pointers highlighted a 17-5 run over the last 4:40 of the quarter to help FHS lead 35-24 at halftime.

An Akers three-pointer made it 47-32 at the 4:39 mark of the third quarter, then Abraham and Hunley each nailed a three in the final two minutes of the frame as the Admirals built a 54-37 lead going to the final eight minutes.

Akers, Abraham and Onusic all fired in threes from the corner during the first 2:40 of the fourth quarter to increase the lead to 65-41. Kyle Binder’s three gave FHS its biggest lead of the game, 68-43, with 4:20 left.

Onusic finished with 13 points, followed Kinney with 11 and Abraham’s nine. Hunley ended with seven points, followed by Esean Phillips, Binder and Wilhoite with three each. Sam Watson scored two for Farragut.

South-Doyle, which suffered its first loss of the season (4-1) as of week’s end, was led by Jammond Mack’s 11 points. Nick Hurst and Troy Erskine each scored 10 for the Cherokees.


Trailing 16-3 in the first quarter against Austin-East as it struggled against superior quickness, Dodgen said the Admirals “we’re just in awe” of the Roadrunners early.

“And then we came out and settled down. And we shot free throws well.”

While the Admirals hit 38 of 46 free throws, Austin-East made only 10 of 27.

Down 31-26 at the half, Farragut went on a 23-10 run in the third quarter to lead 49-41 going to the final frame.

Hunley nailed all six of his free throws, matching Kinney with a team-high 15 points. Abraham hit seven of eight free throws and scored 14. Binder (2 of 2 at the line) scored eight points, followed by Wilhoite (3 of 3 free throws), added seven. Akers (4 of 5 free throws) scored six. Mason Burks and Onusic each had three points, while Watson scored two

Beginning District 4-AAA play versus Maryville Tuesday, Nov. 28 (after press deadline), at FHS, Farragut hosts West Thursday (tonight), Nov. 30, after the girls varsity game, set for 6:30 p.m.


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