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Double ’Dawg revenge: No. 1
Bearden ends losing streaks to FHS, Maryville to win 4-AAA tourney title

Riding on the shoulders of overjoyed fans following Bearden’s 51-43 overtime win against Maryville, Holliday helped carry the BHS offense with a game-high 27 points, earning him tournament most valuable player honors.- Photo by Marty McCool/
Jeremy Holliday capped a fantastic week of basketball with some dramatic late moments in Friday’s District 4-AAA Tournament championship game against Maryville.

On top of earning tournament most valuable player honors, Holliday led his Bearden High School boys team past its two biggest hoop rivals en route to the tournament title at BHS.

With the home-court student section hoisting the 6-foot-6 Holliday high in the air following the Bulldogs’ 51-43 overtime victory against MHS, the senior compared this Bulldog team to the one that was beaten twice by the regular season district champion Rebels.

“I think we’re a whole lot better this time around, better execution, quicker, and we’ve got a little more experience, we’re still a young team,” said Holliday, who led Bearden (26-7 recrord) with 27 points. “Everyone contributed tonight, and it was a great win.”

Down 17-6 midway into the first period, Bulldog defensive pressure kicked in dramatically and held Maryville without a field goal for the final 11:52 of the first half.

“Defensively, I thought we did an outstanding job,” BHS head coach Mark Blevins said. “We tried to take away every possible passing route and then we just controlled the tempo for the evening. The kids did an excellent job with the game plan. Fortunately, it worked out well.

“I think the intensity level and the maturity level is coming through, especially for Tony (White) and B.J. (Ware),” Blevins added. “For us it takes at least nine of us to ten of us to compete at a really high level. All of the kids were really focused, they’re maturing.”

As for Holliday’s effort from the coach’s perspective, “Fantastic tonight, I think that was the best performance of his career,” Blevins said. “We needed him big tonight.”

Currently in 14th place on the all-time BHS scoring list, Holliday enjoyed more recognition after surpassing the 1,000 career point mark in a memorable game — a 66-62 tournament semifinal victory against archrival Farragut Feb. 24, Bearden’s first win over the Admirals this season in four tries. He was honored for that accomplishment prior to Friday’s title game.

Trailing the Rebels 37-36 in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter Friday, Holliday’s rebound basket in traffic earned a three-point play that the senior converted with only 6.2 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Maryville’s Tyler Gaskin drove the length of the court to tie the game 39-39 with a seven-foot bank shot at the buzzer, but Holliday didn’t let up in overtime.

His driving seven-footer tied the game at 41-41 with 2:17 left in OT, and Holliday’s six free throws in the final 26 seconds sealed the win.

But Tony White Jr., an All-tournament honoree, was among several other Bulldogs who stepped up late.

The 5-foot-11 sophomore guard raked down a key rebound, then with a minute left in OT and the game tied, penetrated to the basket before kicking a pass to All-tournament honoree Grant Domsic for a lay-up and a three-point play with 58 seconds to play. Bearden would never trail again.

Domsic’s defense wasn’t forgotten.

“Grant Domsic did a tremendous job on (Andy) Tipton tonight, which was critical,” Blevins said about holding the District 4-AAA player of the year to only 10 points. “And Gaskin has always killed us ... that was really big to stop both of those guys.” Gaskin led Maryville with 17.

“Lance Summers really stepped in in the first half and did a great job,” Blevins said about his back-up senior guard.

BHS 66 FHS 62

Four Bulldogs reached double figures in scoring during Bearden’s semifinal win against Farragut: Holliday with 17 followed by White (13), Ware (12) and Domsic (11).


Bearden was a likely Region 2-AAA semifinalist at South-Doyle High after Tuesday’s game against Halls (played after press deadline). If so, Bearden will play Tuesday’s FHS-Karns winner at 8 p.m. tonight (Thursday). Friday’s region championship game at SDHS is set for 7:30 p.m.

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