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FHS boys secure 4-AAA top seed
Ads entered week still perfect in District 4-AAA after whipping Sevier County, holding off SDHS

Donald Dodgen’s best 24-game start as Farragut High School boys basketball head coach has produced a regular season District 4-AAA title and No. 1 seed for the district tourney later this month at Maryville.

Though South-Doyle put a scare into Admiral Nation — after two Farragut blowout wins versus SDHS this season — Farragut’s John Abraham came off the bench and broke a 51-51 tie with a three-point basket at the 4:15 mark of the fourth quarter, giving FHS a lead it would not relinquish. The 62-55 victory kept the Admirals’ 4-AAA record perfect at 11-0 entering the week (21-3 overall).

“This team doesn’t want to lose, we want to get that undefeated [district] record,” FHS junior wing Will Akers said. “We’re going to do everything it takes.”

Abraham, a 6-foot-2 junior wing, also sank a pair of huge free throws with 29.7 seconds to play making it 60-53.

“I’m more comfortable, playing more,” said Abraham, whose hitting “about” 80 percent of his free throw attempts according to coach Dodgen.

The Ads made Dodgen happy by nailing the door shut on the Cherokees thanks to going six-of-six at the foul line in the final 42 seconds of the game.

“We got our better free throw shooters to the line, they had it in their hands,” Dodgen said “Free throws were the difference in the ballgame.

“And we kept our composure.”

However, “We just didn’t play defense tonight,” Dodgen said, adding with emphasis that his team’s defensive intensity would change through tough practices leading into this week.

Zach Onusic’s 15-foot basket with 1:51 left made it 56-53 Farragut before a Cherokee missed three-pointer to tie gave FHS the ball and a chance to seal the game at the foul line.

Esean Phillips, junior starting point guard who Dodgen said is a 78 percent free throw shooter, nailed both of his free attempts to make it 58-53 with 41.8 seconds remaining.

Abraham got a hand on a SDHS pass and Akers made the steal, then Abraham’s free throws plus two more from Phillips gave plenty of cushion at the end.

“Coach has been telling us with an undefeated record that everybody’s going to want to beat us,” Akers said. “Everybody’s going to bring their A-game against us. Tonight’s a good example. We beat South-Doyle pretty bad twice before, but they came out and gave us a really good game.”

Onusic led the winners with 14 points, followed by Phillips with 13 and Abraham and Akers with 10 each.

Phil Kinney scored five, Mason Burks four and Kyle Binder three points.

“South-Doyle gives you a lot of pressure up front,” Binder said. “But past that you get a lot of lay-ups if you move the ball.

“It wasn’t a pretty win, but we stayed with it and came out with a victory.”

Jonathan Moore had two and Riley Hunley sank a free throw for Farragut.

Led by Chad Zucker’s 15 points, South-Doyle’s record drops to 9-16 overall, 2-9 in 4-AAA. All of Chris Tipton’s 13 points came in the third quarter.


An 18-6 lead after one quarter set the tone as Farragut easily beat Sevier County Jan. 23 at FHS.

Onusic again led the Admirals in scoring, this time with 11 points. Akers had nine, Phillips and Abraham eight each, Hunley and Clay Wilhoite and Binder six each.

Burks, Ben Sanders and Chris Carroll scored two apiece.


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