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Allen: BHS girls ‘one step away’

According to head coach Jennifer Allen, her Bearden High School girls basketball team is just a “step away” as they finished off the week with a 62-51 loss at Cocke County Friday.

Earlier in the week in the BreadBox Super 16 Tournament, the Lady Bulldogs finished fourth among the eight-team field after a 43-41 consolation round loss to Loudon Dec. 30 on a last second shot.

The Lady Bulldogs fell to Cabrini of New Orleans 71-52 in the semifinals Dec. 29.

More on the Loudon game later in this article.


"In the Cocke County game I thought we were kind of flat," Allen said. "Didn’t do some things as well as we have been doing. I just think overall that we’re one step away."

The Lady Bulldogs were led by Sarah Himmelreich’s 16 points. She was the only Bearden player to reach double digits. Allysia Bailey had six as did Amity Mulvey.

Joy Spaulding put in eight from her guard position and fellow guard Nicole Austin finished the night with five. Ashley Blue matched Austin’s five and Jennifer Walker finished out the scoring with four.

For her play, Himmelreich was named by Allen as TnBank’s Player of the Week.

"She was consistent all week," Allen said. "She had 16 against Loudon, 21 against Cabrini and was chosen to the All-Tournament team in the Super Sixteen."


Bearden held a small lead on Loudon at halftime (22-19) in a nip-and-tuck game before the Lady Bulldogs fell behind 37-32 early in the fourth period.

"We were outscored in the third seven to fourteen so we had to fight our way back," Allen said.

A pair of huge three-point baskets in the second half by reserve wing/guard Bailey helped keep the game close. Bailey’s second long-range bomb tied the game 39-39 with 1:42 left.

Spaulding’s driving lay-up tied the game 41-41 with 33 seconds remaining.

The youthful Lady Bulldogs fought their way back only to lose the heartbreaker on a last second five-foot post-up shot from huge Loudon inside player Katie Saddiq.

"We didn’t have anybody near as tall or big as the girl from Loudon so she pretty much just shot over us from about six feet out and made the basket," Allen said of Saddiq, who used her mammoth presence inside to end with a game-high 22 points.

Himmelreich led Bearden with 16 points, followed by Blue with 13.

Bailey’s six points was followed by Nicole Austin with four and Spaulding’s two points.

Bearden entered the week with a 2-10 overall record.


Allen said injuries have really been hard for her young team to overcome but that seeing them fight back in the fourth against Loudon was a bright spot.

"Nina Carter has been out with a stress fracture, so we’ve been short in the post," Allen said. "We came back and that was real good."

One thing Allen said she was looking forward to was the consistency of the practice and game schedule when the team is in school compared to when they were out during the holidays.

"It’s always hard to play when they aren’t in school," Allen said. "It’s just kind of tough on the girls."

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