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Cool FHS Boys era starts 1-1; girls 3-0

A 1-3-1 “surprise” zone defense, forcing numerous mistakes and holding a pair of top scorers in check, allowed Farragut to enjoy a dominant season opener.

Offensively for the Ads, a reliable scoring threat and a new offensive contributor lit a spark.

The Chris Cool Era of FHS Admirals Boys Varsity Basketball began impressively versus Clinton in a 68-33 drubbing Thursday, Nov. 18, at FHS’s Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium.

“It feels great — I was expecting like a two-point game,” said Cool after his first regular season varsity game as Admirals skipper.

One night later, however, cold shooting at Cocke County resulted in a 74-64 loss despite 27 points from junior All-District 4-AAA guard Blake Williams. (More on this game later in story).


Two of Clinton’s top scoring threats labeled “great players” by Cool, guard Dee Shannon and post Ethan Abner, were held to a combined seven points.

Fifteen first half points from Williams, including three 3-point baskets, and nine points off the bench from junior guard Connor Martens sparked the Admirals to a 16-point halftime lead, 33-17.

Williams — who led all scorers with 17 points — said defense was the real spark.

“The 1-3-1 really surprised them. ... The traps, they didn’t know how to get out of the traps,” Williams said. “They didn’t know where the open man was. We did a really good job hustling and getting on the ground for loose balls.”

Cool said his Admirals gave “unbelievable effort on defense,” allowing just one field goal during final five minutes of the third frame. It was 47-26 after three.

The Dragons managed just two points the final 5:45 of the fourth quarter.

Martens ended with 13 points in his first-ever high school varsity regular season game.

“I was really excited and nervous at the beginning, but I got confident; I hit a shot in the beginning and started playing well,” Martens said.

Taylor Diegel finished with 14 points and Will Park 12 for FHS.

A five-foot basekt from sophomore post Preston Spalding upped the edge to 47-24 with 1:32 left in the third. Spalding finished with six points.

Five straight points from senior point guard Craig Leuthold gave the Ads a 57-31 bulge with 5:23 to play.

Senior post Shadi Murfiq hit a late free throw for Farragut.


The Admirals lost despite being tied with five minutes left in the fourth quarter. “It’s a pretty tough place to play,” Cool said.

Individually, “Will Park and Preston Spalding both played real well,” Cool said about two of his top post players.

Park, a senior, scored 13 and Spalding, a sophomore, 11.

The duo each had seven rebounds.

However, “We had a pretty miserable shooting night,” Cool said.

Reed Haugh scored six points for the Ads, Martens four and Leuthold three.

Diegel, FHS senior starting guard, was held scoreless.

(FHS versus Anderson County boys game details can be found at in First Edition).


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