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Hunley back from mono

Riley Hunley beat mononucleosis in seemingly record time, then helped his Farragut Admirals beat its first opponent in two weeks. Playing “with about a 100-degree fever,” at Lenoir City Jan. 11 before being diagnosed with mono, the Admiral senior guard added his anticipated absence was originally “three to four weeks, so I was devastated. [The doctor] checked me out [Jan. 25] and said it looked good. I thought I was going to be out maybe until the tournament started.”

While mononucleosis is known to keep victims out of service for weeks, “I guess I just got lucky,” Hunley said after helping FHS whip South-Doyle 60-48 Friday, Jan. 25, at SDHS. “[The doctor] said my spleen looked good. I have been tired, but I’ve been trying to rest up a lot. He said it must have been a lucky case of it.”

Scoring six points while raking down a handful of key rebounds in the second half at SDHS, Hunley said he felt “about 80” percent of his normal strength. The senior did not start, but entered the game midway through the first quarter and played regularly thereafter.

As for the misfortune of missing key district games versus Maryville (at FHS Jan. 15) and against archrival Bearden at BHS (Jan. 18) that Farragut lost, Hunley said, “It was hard to sit over there and watch. You always want to be out there helping.”

Admirals head coach Donald Dodgen labeled Friday’s effort “a good road win,” adding, “I thought we all played well. We played hard. We had too many turnovers in the first half. The second half we settled down a little bit. … We made some big buckets at the end. … We made some big free throws down the stretch.”

Farragut improved to 17-6, 6-4 in District 4-AAA, after the win.

Justin Griswold, senior reserve guard, nailed what Dodgen called “ a big three” that gave FHS a 12-point cushion, 58-46, with only 1:30 left. Five of Griswold’s seven points came in the final 2:18.

Leading by five in the first quarter, and 14-10 after one frame behind six early points from John Abraham and five from Esean Phillips, Farragut briefly let the lead slip. The Cherokees took their only lead of the game, 18-17, with 5:09 left in the first half. It was 30-27 Farragut at the break.

The Admirals built a 10-point lead late in the third quarter behind six points from Chris Carroll before leading 46-40 after three periods.

A 7-0 FHS run early in the fourth quarter was highlighted by two Sam Watson baskets and a blocked shot by the 6-foot-6 junior post.

Phillips ended with a team-high 12 points followed by 10 from Abraham. Kyle Binder scored six points, Jonathan Moore five and Ben Saunders four.

Cherokee post Mickey Moore scored a game-high 15, followed by teammate Josh Elliot with 13.


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