Fulton quickly gets back on right track

By Steve Williams

Everyone seemed to be in agreement that Fulton’s first loss of the season was a good loss.

The defending Class 3A state champions were riding a 32-game win streak when Murfreesboro Central Magnet stopped Fulton 76-61 in the Page High Christmas Classic at Franklin on Dec. 30.

“That loss definitely did help the team,” said Fulton senior Tyler Lee after the Falcons bounced back for a 67-52 win at William Blount Jan. 3.  “It opened our eyes. We basically were humbled before (this) game.”

Lee led the way in putting Fulton back in the win column. The 6-5 forward scored a team-high 22 points. Senior wing Taj Kimber added 11 and freshman wing Nick Steen 10.

The Falcons (15-1) quickly got back on the right track as they roared to a 12-0 lead.

After the game, William Blount Coach Kevin Windle said the start by Fulton was really the difference and drained his team. His son, senior standout Caden Windle, took game-high scoring honors with 28 points for the Governors (15-3). Grady Robertson added 15. The rest of the team totaled nine points.

Fulton Coach Jody Wright felt the key to the victory was his team’s defensive play the first three quarters, which had the Falcons on top 52-32.

Referring back to his team’s loss to Murfreesboro Central, Wright also said he thought it was a good loss.

“We could make a lot of excuses about that game, but I think excuses are for losers,” he said. “The bottom line was they just whipped us. They were better than we were that night. We stood around and didn’t play hard. We didn’t execute well. When you don’t do those things, you need to lose. And we did, and I think it was kind of a wake-up call for us to get back to being Fulton and playing on both ends and playing with a little intensity. I thought we did a better job of that tonight.”

Steen, who played at Holston Middle School last season, has been a nice addition for the Falcons and earned a starting role.

“He’s tough,” said Jody. “He’s still learning his way on the defensive end (and) all the demands we make of you defensively. But offensively in the first half (tonight), he played like a man. They couldn’t keep him off the boards. He just did a good job of attacking the rim, finishing and getting rebounds. He was hard to handle down there. He was impressive for a freshman in tonight’s game.”