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FHS teams look like No. 3s for tournament
Hood goes off for career-high 37 in last-second Lenoir City win; Ads crush HHS behind duo

LENOIR CITY — Tyler Hood reached new heights as a Lenoir City standout forward Friday night at LCHS, and Farragut paid the price.

As first reported at Farragut First Edition, Feb. 6, Hood, a 6-foot-7 junior scoring machine, pumped in a career-high 37 points, including the game-winning basket — a driving, spinning five-footer with 18 seconds to play. It broke a 49-49 deadlock as Lenoir City beat the Admirals 53-49 in a District 4-AAA showdown Friday.

“He came to play and we couldn’t stop him,” said FHS head coach Donald Dodgen, whose Admirals fell to 19-5 overall, 9-4 in District 4-AAA. “The loss is on me tonight, it’s not on the kids … I didn’t do a good job doing some things. We should have went to the zone a little bit quicker. We should have taken better shots at times. Sometimes we got afraid to shoot and we didn’t shoot the ball.”

But the Admirals have all but secured third-place in 4-AAA, helped by an 87-55 district home win against Heritage Feb. 4, as senior post Sam Watson and senior forward Nate Clark each scored 24 points. (More on that game later in this story).

Against the Panthers, Farragut saw a 13-3 lead midway into the first quarter evaporate thanks to a 14-2 LC run ending with Hood’s offensive rebound lay-up with 6:25 left in the second quarter, making it 17-15 Panthers.

“We played real well, we played with a lot of emotion, then the emotion dropped off,” Dodgen said. “I thought in the second quarter they really got on us, we couldn’t stop ’em.”

Lenoir City then raced to a 34-21 halftime lead as Hood scored 21 in the first 16 minutes with a combination of spinning and driving moves and outside shooting.

Though slowing chipping away at the lead in the second half, the Admirals endured a double blow with 3:51 left in the fourth quarter when 6-foot-9 standout senior post Sam Watson fouled out. Watson also was whistled for a technical foul, and the Panthers converted three free throws to go up 47-41.

But junior forward Reese Browning, who scored eight of his team-co-high 13 points in the final quarter, hit five free throws to highlight a 7-1 FHS run. The last two freebies tied the game, 48-48, with 1:22 remaining.

“I thought we fought back and did a heck of a job right there at the end,” Dodgen said. “We just missed a couple of shots.

The teams exchanged steals, and Hood sank one of two free throws with 58.9 seconds left for a 49-48 Lenoir City lead.

Admirals forward Nate Clark then earned two free throws, sinking one with 39.6 seconds remaining to tie it 49-49.

Hood took the ball and drove down the lane to hit his spinning five-footer with 18 seconds, making it 51-49 LC.

The Admirals’ bid to tie, or possibly win, in the final seconds ended when Landon Hunley’s driving 10 footer misfired and Hood rebounded and was fouled with just 2.2 seconds to play.

The standout LC junior sank both tosses to seal the deal.

Browning said, “It was tough to come back without Sam. But we knew we were going to have some trouble on the road ... We fought our hardest. My hat goes off to everybody on the team.”

Watson matched Browning, also scoring 13. The FHS senior post picked up four of his five fouls in the second half. “He got frustrated there … it’s just one of those things that happens sometimes,” Dodgen said. Clark ended with 11 points for Farragut, Austin Bolen seven, Ben Mixer three and Jonathan Moore two points.

Individually, “I thought those young guys that came off the bench did a good job,” Dodgen said.


Browning scored seven for Farragut, followed by Bolen with five, four points each for Nathan Gibson, Hunley and Zach Warnock. Moore and Mixer had three apiece.


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