By Ken Lay

Fulton High School boys basketball coach Jody Wright didn’t know what to expect when his team took the floor for the first time on Monday, Nov. 20. And he wasn’t particularly happy with his team’s inaugural performance of the 2017-18 season.

“We’ve had about a week of practice and we looked like it at times tonight,” Wright said after his Falcons outlasted Farragut 74-64 in the opening round of the 2017 Central High School Thanksgiving Classic. “But you’ve got to have a place to start.”

The start was a bumpy one for the Falcons (1-0) who struggled to create any separation from the Admirals (2-1) in fact the game was a see-saw with Fulton holding the upper hand most of the way. The lead changed hands several times throughout the contest with the Falcons holding a slim 19-18 edge at the end of the first quarter. They would extend their advantage to 35-32 by halftime.

The Admirals used a modest run to take a 48-47 lead by third quarter’s end before the Falcons closed out the game with a 27-16 surge to claim their first victory of the season.

Fulton got a huge lift from guard Trey Davis, who scored 16 of his game-high 26 points over the final eight minutes of the game after getting in to foul trouble and sitting for much of the third stanza.

“He really came up big for us in the fourth quarter,” Wright said of Davis. “He got into foul trouble there in the third quarter, so he had some fresh legs [in the fourth quarter].”

Davis shouldered much of the offensive load against the Admirals but he got plenty of help from a supporting cast. James Davis had 15 points. Edward Lacy added 11 (including eight in the final frame). DaShawn Page scored 10 while Josh Berry finished with eight and had a 3-point basket with 7 minutes, 28 seconds remaining in the game to give the Falcons a 50-48 lead.

From there, Fulton never trailed again.

Farragut pulled to within 54-53 when Luke Moeller scored after nabbing an offensive rebound at the 5:43 mark.

After that, things came unraveled for the Admirals, who committed three consecutive turnovers.  Trey Davis scored five points off those three Farragut miscues to a 59-53 lead.

“Anytime you play Fulton, you have to do two things,” said Admirals coach Jon Higgins, a former Central High coach and one-time assistant to Wright with the Falcons. “You have to know how hard they play and you have to know how hard they go to the glass and rebound.

“For a while, we matched their intensity but they killed us on the boards at times. We had the game 54-53 and then we had three straight turnovers. We can learn from these things and we can get better.”

Chris Dalton led Farragut with 17 points. Nick Stedham added 12. Will Brown finished with nine.