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Lady Ads outlast Bearden 60-54

FHS wing Beth Raby fires a shot over Bearden’s Nina Carter.- Marty McCool/
For Bearden’s Lady Bulldog basketball team, Friday night’s loss to Farragut was like déjà vu all over again. BHS took a lead into the fourth only to see a Lady Admiral go on a run to take the lead and take a victory.

“It’s just been that kind of year,” Bearden head coach Jennifer Allen said about a tough 60-54 loss similar to a December setback at FHS when the Lady Bulldogs were also unable to hold a second-half lead. “We just don’t seem to play consistent enough. When it gets down (at the end), I don’t know if we choke or get just get nervous.”

Farragut stormed out of the gates in the first period, going on a 9-0 run and not allowing Bearden to score until the 4:20 mark of the first. Bearden’s Sarah Himmelreich brought her team back after scoring six of her 11 points on three straight Lady Bulldog possessions. After one, the Lady Admirals held a slim 13-12 lead over Bearden.

“We got off to a good start but I knew they’d come back,” Farragut coach Mike Driver said. “But coming back in the fourth quarter is something we hadn’t been able to do the last three or four games. We did early in the season. I hope things are looking up.”

The second quarter was all Natalie Munday for Farragut as the junior post scored all but two of the 11 FHS points in the quarter. Bearden’s post play dominated in the beginning by leading the Lady Bulldogs on an 8-0 run. Ashley Blue, who was named as TnBank Player of the Week, scored six straight points during Bearden’s run and finished the quarter with nine points. At the half Bearden had reclaimed the lead 27-24.

But Allen said the “Munday Show” in the second was all but impossible to stop.

“She’s (Munday) a great player,” Allen said. “If she’s on, she’s hard to stop that night. The first time we played them she didn’t play well at all the first three quarters and then in the fourth quarter she just took the game over. In the second quarter (Friday) we changed two or three people and never stopped her. She was pretty much doing whatever she wanted.”

The third period was nothing short of a catfight as each team fought for control.

Farragut’s Ashley Tipton cut the lead to one at the 5:06 mark with her three-point play. The Lady Bulldogs’ lead was extended to 53-48 when Blue recovered her own missed shot and put it back in for two of her team high 22 points. Heading into the fourth, Bearden still led 42-39.

The Lady Admirals, who entered the week 12-8 overall and 4-5 in District 4-AAA, took control in the fourth by going on a 6-0 run and claiming a 45-42 lead at the 6:40 mark.

Once again they were led by Munday who scored the first four points of the quarter before leaving with five minutes to play with what was feared to be a broken nose. Munday did not return. She left with a game high 23 points.

Bearden fought back, led by Blue, whose rebound basket and free throw cut the lead to one at 53-52 with 2:17 remaining.

But for everything Bearden could do, Farragut seemed to always have an answer. The Lady Admirals never let the Lady Bulldogs get any closer and went 7-of-10 from the line in the fourth and sweep of the archrivals over the regular season.

Filling in for Munday, back-up post Rachel Simmons grabbed several key rebounds and scored four of her 14 points in the fourth quarter.

“Rachel really played her best game of the year,” Driver said. “She’s leaving here with a black eye or two, and that shows she’s playing hard.”

BHS entered the week 5-14 overall and 1-9 in the district.

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