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FHS boys wear down Govs, whip Webb

Wearing down Micah Ballard and his boys from William Blount made all the difference Friday night at WBHS.

As first reported Jan. 30 on Farragut First Edition at, Farragut’s depth plus its second-half defense on Governor weapon Ballard, scoring just four of his 15 points after the break, resulted in a 64-49 Ads District 4-AAA victory.

At halftime, “Coach told me I had the match-up guarding Ballard and he’s averaging something like 20 points a game,” senior forward Nate Clark said. [Coach] told me it’s a big match-up, if we shut him down we shut their team down. That was the message coming out in the second half. “In the second half we kinda wore ’em down.”

About Farragut pulling away from a 29-24 halftime lead, FHS head coach Donald Dodgen said, “The pressure got to ’em because of our depth. They were going seven or eight deep, we were going nine, 10, 11, 12 deep. And they just wore down.

“I thought the kids played well.”

Led by Sam Watson, FHS 6-foot-9 senior post who led all scorers with 16, the Admirals improve to 18-4 overall and 9-3 in 4-AAA, staying on the heels of district No. 2 Maryville. WBHS falls to 11-11, 4-8.

Senior point guard Jonathan Moore and senior reserve forward Austin Bolen each scored 10 points for the Admirals. Ben Mixer added eight followed by Wayman McLaughlin seven and Clark six.

Individually, Dodgen said, “the Mixer kid [6-foot-10 senior post] had a good night tonight, I thought Austin came in did some things real well. I thought Jonathan Moore played a good, all-around ballgame, a good job running the ballclub.”

Farragut led most of the way in the first half, though it’s biggest margin didn’t come until the break. After a Ballard three-pointer put WBHS up 26-24 with 1:33 left in the second quarter, Moore nailed consecutive three-point baskets, the last coming with 40 seconds remaining. That 6-0 spurt gave Farragut a 29-24 halftime lead it would never relinquish.

Early on, the Govs proved a tougher team than the one the Ads beat at FHS 59-40 Dec. 15.

“It was a homecoming night for them, so we knew they were going to be trying a lot harder than they were at our place,” said McLaughlin, a junior guard. “So we had to step up another level. I thought we brought it defensively in the second half.”

While the Govs went more than three minutes without scoring in third quarter, four points from Bolen and a Mixer basket comprised a 6-0 run that gave the Ads a 40-28 lead with 2:10 left.

The quarter ended wildly, as FHS used a pair of steals to score seven points in the final 21 seconds to build a 15-point cushion.

A Reese Browning basket after his rebound of a missed FHS free throw preceded Watson’s steal-turned-lay-up off the press. Landon Hunley’s steal off the press and pass to Watson for a slam-dunk made it 49-34 after three.

The last of consecutive driving baskets from Nathan Gibson gave FHS its biggest lead, 63-44, with 1:28 to play.

Other scorers were Browning’s two points and one free throw from Stephen Britten.


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