FMS boys surprise Bearden

KNOXVILLE — Farragut Middle School’s boys basketball team knocked Bearden from the ranks of the unbeaten.

The Admirals notched a 49-48 victory over the Bruins in the West Valley Middle School Boys Holiday Tournament Thursday, Dec. 28.

Farragut (8-6) prevailed in a tough test against one of two Knox County Middle School Basketball Conference teams to have a perfect record heading into the holiday break [also Vine Middle, 11-0].

The Bruins [14-1] shredded Farragut’s zone defense and opened a 17-7 lead after one quarter.

“I felt like the big difference was when we switched from zone to man[-to-man],” said FMS wing player Isaiah Smith, who led all scorers with 28 points. “We made some steals, we made some shots and we beat their press.”

FMS guard Dillon Atwell, who finished with 16 points, agreed. “[Before] we came out of that zone, they were hitting shots from all over the place,” he said.

Farragut pulled to within 25-22 by halftime, then held a slim 36-35 advantage after three stanzas.

The Ads took the lead for good on a 3-pointer by Isaiah midway through the quarter. Dillon converted 5-of-6 the free throws late.

Bearden appeared to convert a game-winning tip-in at the buzzer — but it was ruled to have happened after the clock ran out.