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Early lead lost as Rebs overwhelm Ads, capture 2nd straight 4-AAA title

In the beginning things were going as planned for the Farragut Admirals in the District 4-AAA Tournament championship game Wednesday, Feb. 21, at Maryville High School. But in the end it was the Maryville Rebels that came out with the tournament title with a 64-56 win.

The Admirals took an 18-8 lead at the end of the first quarter behind 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point range. The Admirals seemed to have everything clicking.

Then it stopped.

Farragut shot 2-of-16 from 3-point range the rest of the game, and the magic that worked in the first quarter was non-existent the remainder of the game for the Admirals.

“We shot the ball well at the beginning, but all at once we just bottomed out,” Admirals head coach Donald Dodgen said. “Everybody just bottomed out, the intensity just bottomed out and I don’t know. It’s just one of those things.”

The 10-point lead the Admirals took into the second quarter turned into a 26-25 Maryville lead at halftime.

“Maryville just did a good job and they took us out of what we wanted to do,” Dodgen said. “In the first half we shot the ball real well, and then we just took a slump. But the reason we took a slump was they did such a good job defending us.”

The Admirals regained the lead with 5:52 left in the third when Admirals senior Mason Burks connected 1-of-2 from the line. Less than a minute later Maryville regained the lead and Farragut couldn’t get it back.

“We tried to get it back all at once, and I made a fatal mistake,” Dodgen said. “I took a timeout to give my kids a breather and I shouldn’t have done that. When I did that we lost all momentum, and that is my fault. And if I had to do it over I wouldn’t have done it, but I did it.”

Farragut cut the lead to 45-44 with 6:30 left in the game — but then things hit rock bottom for the Admirals, as the Rebels went on a 12-0 run to increase the lead, 57-44, with 3:30 left.

Maryville guard Tyler Maples played a crucial role in the run with his penetration to the basket. The senior scored six of his 13 points during the run.

“He was definitely driving, and we had a couple players with four fouls, myself included, and we couldn’t do anything so that was tough,” Farragut senior post Zach Onusic said. “He played his heart out, they all played good, so congratulations to Maryville.”

Farragut was 16-of-27 from the line but many of the misses were front ends of one-and-one opportunities.

“We missed free throws and they didn’t,” Dodgen said. “We work every day and we just missed shots, and in games like these you can’t miss free throws. And we missed one-and-ones and we missed two shot free throws.”

Farragut was able to cut the deficit to nine with 1:05 remaining but couldn’t muster anything more than that.

“I’m disappointed that we didn’t play well like we normally do for a district championship, but I give Maryville all the credit,” Dodgen said.

Onusic led the Admirals with 20 points while Will Akers added 16. Maryville senior Kent Basile led the Rebels with 15 points and was named tourney MVP.

Losing in the district championship game wasn’t easy for the Admirals, who dominated District 4-AAA most of the year including two regular season victories against Maryville.

“It’s hard to swallow because we beat them twice and we beat everyone else, and to not come out on top is a disappointment,” Onusic said.


Akers, Onusic and John Abraham were each named to the District 4-AAA All-Tournament team.


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