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Consistent effort nets BHS girls first district win

Lady Bulldog junior forward Ashley Blue (22) fights hard with Lady Rebel Caitlyn Ryan for a loose ball.- Photo by Marty McCool/
Playing four hard quarters without a letdown while pushing the ball upcourt effectively and consistently.

Bearden’s Lady Bulldog basketball team did both to the satisfaction of its head coach and grabbed the team’s first District 4-AAA win of the season.

“We played hard all game,” BHS head coach Jennifer Allen said of the 49-39 victory against West Friday at BHS. “We’ve been in so many games, ahead in games, and usually in the third quarter we let down and lose the third quarter. We played all four quarters tonight.”

In addition to effectively pushing the ball upcourt and getting the ball in other players’ hands, BHS senior point guard Joy Spaulding also led her team in scoring with 14 points. For her efforts, Spaulding was named TnBank Player of the Week.

“That’s what we have to do in order to win ballgames, push the ball upcourt,” Allen said.

As for other Lady Bulldogs who made huge contributions, “Rachel stepped up tonight and made some big shots,” Allen said about senior guard Rachel Hodge, who scored 11 points including two big baskets late in the first half that helped squash a Lady Rebel rally and give Bearden a 27-21 halftime lead. ‘She’s shot well several times for us this year.”

Freshman guard Allysia Bailey came off the bench to score eight points, including a pair of three-point baskets that helped blow the game wide open late in the third quarter.

“She’s a freshman, and she’s a real good shooter for us,” Allen said of Bailey. “She stepped in tonight and did what we needed her to do for us. She hit a couple of big baskets.”

Allen said her team has been shooting the ball better of late.

“We shot close to fifty percent at Maryville the other night (Jan. 6),” Allen said of a 71-61 loss at MHS. “There’s no doubt that we’re a lot better shooting team. We didn’t play well against Cocke County, we missed a ton of shots. So we spent a lot of time with the ball in our hands shooting this week (in practice).”

Sophomore post Sarah Himmelreich, “averaging twelve or thirteen points a game, and probably eight or nine rebounds” according to Allen, scored only four points.

However, “it wasn’t that Sarah didn’t play well for us tonight, it’s just that everybody else stepped up a little bit and we didn’t have to depend so much on Sarah,” Allen said.

Ashley Blue added eight points for the winners, whose record improved to 3-11 overall. Nicole Austin rounded out the Bearden scoring with two points.

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