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Final 97 seconds go against FHS in bid to upset No. 1 Dawgs

The clear-out and the block — two critical calls in the final 97 seconds that went against Farragut in its bid to upset Tennessee’s No. 1-ranked team.

Donald Dodgen’s Admirals played unbeaten archrival Bearden toe-to-toe for 32 minutes Friday night, Jan. 15, at BHS, before Mr. White settled the issue in dramatic fashion for Bulldog Country.

Rico White’s drive down the lane drew a blocking foul — with lots of FHS fans angrily screaming charge — in a 63-63 game with only 6.7 seconds to play.

White capped off a 30-point night, the junior guard’s career-best performance according to BHS head coach Mark Blevins, with two made free throws and a 65-63 Bulldogs lead that would stand up for a win.

“He was sensational tonight,” Blevins said. “This was his best game. … He made big plays.

“But Farragut played awesome tonight.”

White said Blevins “wanted me to go one-on-one; he knew I could get to the lane, I had been hot all game.”

After a timeout, Farragut’s attempt to tie or win was thrown away.

Wayman McLaughlin, FHS senior point guard, raced full court down the right side but found no one to receive his crosscourt pass just outside the three-point arc.

“I thought this was one of the best high school games I’ve been associated with,” coach Dodgen said. “We had what we wanted there at the end, and just had a miscue. We just did not execute it.

“I thought we brought everything to them, we played super on defense and our offense was real good,” Dodgen added.

Landon Hunley, Farragut’s 6-foot-7 standout senior forward, picked up his fifth foul on offense in a 63-63 tie, called for clearing out with his arm while posting up with 1:37 to play. He left with seven points.

Saying he didn’t want to rip the officials, Hunley added, “Maybe I should have sealed him off a little better to try and catch the pass. I guess that was my fault.”

Dodgen took the high road about the two late calls. “I’ve been in this business a long time, and I’ve never had an official beat me,” he said. “Tonight we had some that just didn’t go our way.”

Bearden held the ball, calling two timeouts, leading up to White’s winning free throws.

The 65-53 win improves Bearden’s record to 17-0 overall, 8-0 in District 4-AAA, while Farragut drops to 12-6 overall, 3-4 in 4-AAA.

Ty Greene, Bearden junior guard, scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half, including four 3-point baskets.

“Ty played sensational in the second half,” Blevins said. “And he contained his man [defensively] … and basically shut him down.”

Farragut overcame a 10-4 early deficit to lead 28-20 midway into the second quarter as Reese Browning, Admirals senior wing, scored 10 of his team-high 16 points in the first quarter to help FHS rally.

“The first quarter was critical for us … we had to keep this quarter down, which we did,” Dodgen said.

Blevins added, “Farragut’s wings really played well tonight.”

A 7-1 Bearden rally closed it to 29-27 at halftime.

The Admirals used a 12-4 late in the third quarter to erase a five-point Bearden lead, only to see Bulldogs junior point guard Dion Fair end the quarter in dramatic fashion.

The junior point guard nailed an off-balance 30-foot desperation three-point basket at the third quarter horn. It was 46-45 BHS.

A pair of White three-pointers brought the Bulldogs from behind late, tying the game 58-58 with 3:17 to play then another to give BHS a 61-60 edge at the 2:16 mark.

Browning then converted all three free throws after being fouled on a long-range shot attempt, pushing the Admirals ahead 63-61 lead with 2:06 remaining.

Jaeland Lawson’s drive to the basket earned two free throws, which the BHS junior converted to tie the game 63-63 with 1:53 left.

Fair, who ended with seven points, earned praise from Blevins for his defensive effort. Lawson scored five, Chris Phillips three, Will Winton two and Chris Peake one point.

“I thought our posts guys played well in the second half,” Blevins said of Phillips, a senior, and Winton, a junior.

McLaughlin, surviving despite serious foul problems, ended with 14 points for Farragut.

Blake Williams, FHS sophomore guard, scored 10.

Farragut received key offensive contributions off the bench, with junior forward Will Park scoring eight and senior forward Trevlyn Singleton adding seven.

“They did a good job, got some easy baskets for us,” Dodgen said.

Stephen Britton added a free throw.

“Everybody played hard, and we played well as a team,” Hunley said. “When they would come down and hit a shot, we normally could answer.”


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