WVMS double Knox County champs; FMS runner-up X 2

Wolves reach TMSAA Sectional semis, Admirals fall in opener vs Maryville

  • West Valley Middle Schools boys earned gold ball trophies as regular season and tournament Knox County champions. - Alan Sloan

  • Farragut Middle School boys basketball team was Knox County regular season and tournament runner-ups, finishing the 2022-23 season with a 17-4 overall record. - Alan Sloan

POWELL — Once again at the top of Knox County Middle School boys basketball, West Valley and Farragut provided a dramatic tourney championship game before both teams’ seasons ended in TMSAA Sectional play at Powell Middle.

In the end, the Wolves held both the regular season and tourney Knox gold ball trophies, as All-County post Damian Cullom hit clutch free throws in the final seconds to edge the FMS Admirals 37-36 in the Class AAA tourney title game Wednesday, Jan. 25, at South-Doyle Middle School.

“Damian, he’s pretty consistent,” WVMS head coach Noel Landrum said, as Damian scored a game-high 17. Wolves guard Paxton Parrott also was an All-County honoree.

As for FMS, “Ethan (Farhat) is just tough,” Landrum said about the eighth-grade All-County guard who scored a team-leading 16. “And (Lynn Allen) is a great coach over there.”

West Valley, finishing with a 25-4 overall record, enjoyed one Sectional victory, beating Cleveland 45-38 before falling to Alcoa 43-31 in the semifinal.

Allen’s Admirals

Ending with a 17-4 overall record, Farragut drew eventual Sectional champ Maryville, a No. 3 seed that played like a state championship contender, in the Sectional opening round Saturday, Jan. 28. MMS started both halves strong and cruised to a 56-40 victory.

Against WVMS, “We got down, but the kids fought hard and got back into the game by heart and grit,” Allen said. “... Defensively, we played well enough to win.”

Matthew Dickens, eighth-grade guard, scored eight in the Knox title game for FMS.

Allen said his team had to overcome various adversities throughout the season, including extended injuries to a pair of his best players.

“We’ve had a heck of a year,” the FMS head coach added. “The Lord has blessed me so much in my time here. ... We are certainly fortunate and blessed.”