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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

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TSSAA Championships: Knoxville Fulton Stages Comeback, Tops Fayette-Ware 56-49 in Classic Showdown

Denaj Kimber scored 15 points, including a pivotal fourth-quarter surge, to help Knoxville Fulton overcome an early deficit and claim a 56-49 victory over Fayette-Ware in a thrilling state playoff game Thursday night.

Fayette-Ware struck first, led by Eric Jones Jr. and Jeremiah Hayes, building a five-point lead midway through the third quarter. Knoxville Fulton refused to back down, with Tyler Lee and Taj Kimber sparking a late third-quarter run to cut the deficit to two points entering the final period.

The fourth quarter showcased a seesaw battle. Fulton’s Kimber opened the scoring with an electrifying layup. Fayette-Ware answered with a three-pointer from Jones Jr., but Kimber and Lee countered with timely shots and aggressive defense, helping Fulton regain the lead with three minutes remaining.

Fayette-Ware, led by a resilient effort from Hayes and Tarecous Stevens, refused to concede. They battled back within two points, but crucial free throws from Knoxville Fulton’s Dexter Lewis in the game’s final minute ultimately sealed the hard-fought victory.

Key Stats

  • Fayette-Ware: Hayes (13 points), Jones Jr. (11 points), Stevens (14 points)
  • Knoxville Fulton: D. Kimber (15 points), Lee (12 points), Lewis (5 points with key late free throws)

Turning Point

The game’s momentum shifted decisively in the fourth quarter when Fulton’s Denaj Kimber took charge, scoring back-to-back baskets to ignite his team’s offense and propel them into a lead they would not relinquish.

Looking Ahead

Knoxville Fulton advances in the state tournament, demonstrating the grit and determination that will be crucial in future rounds. Fayette-Ware, despite the loss, showed tremendous heart and could be a force to be reckoned with next season.

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