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Third quarter surges for FHS hoop teams
Rutherford contributes in return from injury as Lady Ads blast SDHS

Sinking more baskets in a 6:30 stretch of the third quarter than it did the rest of the game, Farragut almost blew a 20-point fourth quarter lead and struggled to a 52-44 victory at winless South-Doyle Friday, Dec. 19.

“We just played awful … mentally we weren’t in the ballgame and we kinda played down to South-Doyle’s level,” said FHS head coach Donald Dodgen, whose Admirals improved to 9-2 overall, 4-1 in District 4-AAA.

Making only eight first-half baskets and leading just 23-18 at the break, the Admirals used a Sam Watson block and two steals to convert six quick third-quarter points on fast break lay-ups en route to a 24-9 run and a 47-27 lead.

“Third quarter we came out and we were saying we were going to make five passes on every possession,” said FHS senior forward Nate Clark, who scored a team-high 17. “So we got a lot more open looks and we were a lot more in rhythm.”

Jonathan Moore’s three-point basket capped the 24-9 run with 1:40 left in the third quarter, the last of four long-range trifectas and 10 baskets FHS hit in the period.

But Farragut would score just one other basket, a short jumper from Ben Mixer with 6:26 left in the game, making it 49-29.

The Admirals proceeded to go 5:26 without a point, as the Cherokees went on a 12-0 run led by five points from Elijah Finchum, cutting the lead to 49-41 with 2:34 left.

It was at that point Mixer, a 6-foot-10 senior post, fouled out, having picked up his fourth foul within the first minute of the fourth frame.

About the fourth-quarter Cherokee surge, Dodgen said, “I take full responsibility, I slowed [Farragut] down too much [offensively] in the fourth quarter. Third quarter we got up and down the floor, made some shots, we got in the flow of the offense. … I got ’em out of rhythm.”

Watson, 6-foot-9 senior post who entered the quarter with three fouls, picked up No. 4 with 3:22 remaining but survived.

South-Doyle missed a three-pointer before Watson’s rebound and free throw made it 50-41 with a minute to play.

Cody Baker’s three-point jumper cut the lead to 50-44 with 50.9 seconds left, and the Cherokees rebounded a missed free throw looking to make it a three-point game.

But Finchum missed a three-pointer and Farragut hit a couple of free throws in the final 38 seconds.

About the slow first-half start, Clark said, “They came out in a zone, it was kinda like a 1-3-1 that dropped back to a 2-3, and it’s hard to get the ball inside, and that’s what we do best. And we weren’t knocking down shots in the first half.”

Moore scored 15 and Watson 11 points for Farragut.

“We came out here thinking they were nothing because they haven’t won a game yet,” Moore said. “We played down to their level, and we can’t be doing that with those teams like that, they can beat us.”

Other Ad scorers were Mixer with four, Zack Warnock three and Reese Browning two points.

Dodgen praised Clark for “giving us a little spark there at times; he’s a blue collar worker.”

Baker ended with a game-high 19 points for SDHS, the only Cherokee in double figures scoring.


Watson’s 20 points led Farragut offensively in its 59-40 victory against William Blount in a 4-AAA clash Monday, Dec. 15, in FHS’s Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium.

Austin Bolen was the other Admiral in double figures, scoring 11, as Farragut’s 17-11 lead after one frame held up.

The Admirals led 33-24 at halftime and 47-30 after three quarters.

Micah Ballard’s 19 points led the Governors (6-3, 1-3 after the game).


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