Falcons stay on the go against tough opposition

By Steve Williams

Coach Jody Wright’s Fulton Falcons may be in second place in the District 3-3A standings at the moment, but his defending state champions have been tuning up for another title run since the season tipped off in mid-November.

Fulton had a 13-0 record as it finished up holiday tournament play in Middle Tennessee last week against St. Benedict and Murfreesboro Central Magnet at Page High in Franklin.

It was the fourth tourney the Falcons had participated in this season, starting with a 70-67 win over Morristown East in the RecruitMe Thanksgiving Classic at Farragut.

Fulton also beat highly-regarded Bearden 73-67 in the Doubletree Roundball Classic in Johnson City on Dec. 9 and toppled Maryville 66-57 in the 5Star Preps’ Hoops Jam at Oak Ridge on Dec. 16.

Coming up this week for the Falcons, as the calendar flips to 2024, will be a battle at William Blount Tuesday and a home district game against Cocke County Friday.

Fulton is currently 2-0 in district play, a game behind Carter in the win column.

The 12-week regular season is pretty much half over, but many teams, particularly those in larger districts, still have most of their district games to play. For example, in District 4-4A, Hardin Valley and Maryville have yet to play a district game and will play 10 district games and two non-district games in the second half.

The following is a brief look at other boys’ teams in The Focus’ coverage area.

Bearden (15-2): Its best wins have been against Tennessee High, Tri-Cities Christian and Alcoa. The Bulldogs also beat Sparkman, Ala., 73-61 in the Adidas Shootout at Murfreesboro Riverdale Dec. 21. Up next: Jan. 9 in district game at Maryville.

Powell (12-1): The Panthers opened their season with a Hall of Fame win over Kingston at Clinton. Other top wins came against Anderson County and South-Doyle twice, including a 61-52 win in the Loudon Christmas Classic Dec. 21. Powell’s lone loss was a district game to Oak Ridge, 85-73. Up next will be a game at Jefferson County Saturday.

Webb (12-3): Notched best wins against Morristown East, Cookeville, Stone Memorial, Ensworth, Brentwood Academy and Austin-East. Next game on schedule is against Tri-Cities Christian at home on Jan. 9. Note: First meeting with Catholic this season will be on Jan. 19 at Catholic.

Austin-East (10-6): Best wins: Sevier County, West and Oak Ridge. Roadrunners are in a new district this season (District 2-2A) and will play their first district game Friday at Alcoa.

West (9-3): Best win of season so far was 72-67 at Bearden in district play. Other top wins: Alcoa, Dobyns-Bennett and A-E. Up next: Alcoa at home on Thursday.

Catholic (9-4): Best wins: Austin-East and West. Up next: McCallie visits in a region game Friday. The Fighting Irish has a road trip to Tri-Cities Christian in Johnson City Saturday.

South-Doyle (8-4): Best wins: 74-72 in overtime at Halls and 63-62 at Lenoir City. Cherokees had a close loss at Powell, 58-53. Up next: at Central Friday.

Hardin Valley (8-5): Best wins: Alcoa and A-E. Up next: Hawks will host Maryville in district play Friday.

Berean Christian (7-4): Eagles notched a district win at CAK. Another top win was over Maryville Christian. Up next: home district game Friday versus Providence Academy.

Grace Christian (6-4): A victory over Concord Christian capped six wins in a row after a 0-2 start. Up next: A Thursday game at Washburn.

Central (7-7): Best wins: Unicoi County and South-Doyle. Bobcats lost 65-63 to Austin-East in a rematch on Dec. 14. Up next: Friday home game versus S-D.

Halls (7-7): Best win: 66-57 at Campbell County in a district game. Red Devils lost to South-Doyle 74-72 in OT. Up next: at Carter Friday.

Gibbs (6-6): Best win: Berean. Gibbs lost in three overtimes to Carter. Eagles entertain Pigeon Forge Thursday and Seymour Friday.

Concord Christian (5-5): Best wins: Maryville Christian and Berean Christian. Up next: District game at home Thursday versus CAK.

Other teams with won-loss record: Carter 5-8, Karns 5-8, CAK 3-9, TKA 3-9, Farragut 3-11, Seymour 2-11, FBA 0-9.