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FHS boys stay on top in 4-AAA
Defense stops Lenoir City; Heritage easy victim heading into Friday showdown versus Bearden

Seniors Zach Onusic and Mason Burks are playing through the pain.

Both Farragut High School basketball starters are playing through painful lower back problems, but each contributed in a pair of wins as the Admirals stayed unbeaten and atop District 4-AAA entering the week.Beginning with a 66-45 drubbing of Heritage at HHS Tuesday, Jan. 9, the Admirals turned up the defensive pressure to beat Lenoir City 52-40, Friday, Jan. 12, at FHS’s Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium. The wins improved Farragut to 17-3 overall, 7-0 in 4-AAA.

Onusic, a 6-foot-5 post, shook off his injury and scored a game-high 15 points.

Burks, a senior wing who scored three points but is known as Farragut’s top defender, said the team is ready for tough week ending with a visit from archrival Bearden Friday, Jan. 19. “We’ve had a pretty tough few weeks coming through the Super Sixteen, playing three games [the next week], I think we’ve had stressful weeks so we’re ready for the stress factor of it,” he said.

“I think we’re ready to roll.”


FHS head coach Donald Dodgen labeled Friday as a “funny game” where the Admirals “yo-yo’d around” before winning.

“Lenoir City did exactly what they needed to do to win the ballgame, they slowed it down,” the coach added. “And we weren’t playing real well. We didn’t shoot the ball as well as we should have. But that’s just basketball.”

However, “I though Jonathan Moore and Riley Hunley and Kyle Binder came and gave us a big lift, that was the difference in the ballgame,” Dodgen said about three key reserves. “Jonathan came in and hit some big shots ... and got a couple of steals.”

Moore scored seven, five coming in the fourth quarter.

Dodgen was also pleased that his defense limited Panther sharpshooter Helton to 12 points — only four in the second half. “I thought defensively we did what we needed to do ... I think defense was the difference in the ballgame,” he said. “Helton’s their best player and we knew we had to stop Helton. The kids rose to the occasion.”

Farragut senior wing Will Akers was second in scoring with 10, senior post Phil Kinney had six and junior point guard Esean Phillips dropped in five. Burks added three, while Clay Wilhoite, Hunley and Binder each scored two.


Kinney led the winners with 14 points, followed by Onusic with 13, Hunley 10 and Akers seven. Burks and Phillips scored six each, John Abraham and Wilhoite three apiece and Binder and Chris Carroll two each.


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