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Strong FHS hoops starts lead to Bearden
Boys improved to 6-1 after second-half shutout, blowout of Rebels as powerful Bulldogs await

Even Donald Dodgen’s end-of-the-bench guys were quite defensive late last week.

Already blowing out Hardin Valley Academy 54-13 by halftime, coach Dodgen’s Farragut Admirals shut down the Hawks’ offense completely in the second half — no points allowed — and won 72-13 Thursday, Dec. 4, in FHS’s Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium.

Meanwhile, defense, depth and deadly accurate shooting stretches was the formula helping Farragut dominate perennial Class AAA power and District 4-AAA rival Maryville Tuesday, Dec. 2, at FHS.

The Admirals clamped down defensively, holding the Rebels’ top two scorers — guard Ryan Click and 6-foot-9 post Jay Reynolds — to a combined five first-half points and led 30-15 at halftime.

Add balanced scoring, dominant board work and several key contributions off the bench and the result was a 57-30 whipping of its District 4-AAA rival.

“At halftime, defensively we played about as well as we could play,” FHS head coach Donald Dodgen said after the MHS victory. “We wear on people defensively. We showed intensity on both ends of the floor. They’ll get after you, they enjoy playing defense.”

Farragut entered the week 6-1 overall, 1-0 in district.

Against the Rebs, Farragut was led by Sam Watson, 6-foot-9 senior post, with 13 points and junior forward Landon Hunley with 12.

Other FHS scorers were Ben Mixer with seven, Zack Warnock and Jonathan Moore six, Wayman McLaughlin and Austin Bolen five each, Reese Browning two and DeAndrea Purty one.

Click ended with only 11 points and Reynolds six. Dodgen said holding Click to five first-half points was a “big difference. … We did a real good job on him. Zack, Wayman, Landon. We just wore him down.”

Warnock, senior forward, said the Ads “dominated defensively,” adding McLaughlin “shut Click down, that was the main thing.”

MHS suffered its first loss.

The Ads completed its 59-point blowout of HVA without having a single player reach double figures in scoring: Nate Clark and Browning each led with nine points, followed by Bolen, Mixer, Watson, Nathan Gibson and Warnock with eight apiece.

McLaughlin scored four, Purty and Moore with three each and two apiece for Trevlyn Singleton and Stephen Britton.

Hunter Smoak, Nathan Garner and Sherrius Smith each led winless HVA with three points each, followed by Jamison Baker and Dominic Ratliff with two apiece.

“I’m just getting back from football, and I’m trying to get some confidence, get back into the flow of the game,” said Gibson, a junior guard.

About his new varsity role as a back-up point guard with crunch-time minutes this season, McLaughlin said, “At first I was kinda nervous, being a new guy coming in, new system. … It was a big step. But I think I’m moving in nicely. Starting to take a leadership role at point guard.”

Jonathan Moore, FHS senior point guard, said Farragut played the “best defense we’ve played all year. We’ve practiced hard. We can win games like that.”

Farragut travels to unbeaten rival Bearden Friday, Dec. 12, with opening tip-off around 8 p.m.


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