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BHS hoop boys begin season with three wins

JOHNSON COUNTY ó The Bearden Bulldogs boys basketball team opened up its regular season with three wins in the Hall of Fame Classic Nov. 18 and 19.

"Itís a good start to the season," BHS head coach Mark Blevins said. "We need to improve on everything still, itís the first game so our ball handling, defense rebounding, shot selection we still have a long ways to go but we started off on the right track thatís for sure."

Led by Rande Sibley's 11 points and three assists, the Bulldogs opened the tournament with a 59-34 win over Unaka. Tony White Jr. had eight points and seven rebounds while B.J. Ware added nine points and three steals. Andrew Smith led the Bulldogs with nine rebounds and also added seven points.

Bearden continued its strong play in game two against Johnson County with a 75-33 win. White Jr. led the scoring with 14. He also added four steals and three assists. Andy Fennell had 10 points and five steals and freshman Damonte Simpson had eight points and five rebounds.

In the final game, the Bulldogs beat Hampton 78-57. Ware had a standout game with 25 points, seven rebounds, five steals and four assists. White Jr. added 14 points and three assists and Sibley had 12 points and three steals.

"Tony White Jr. and B.J. Ware were by far the dominant players both defensively and offensively but they should be," Blevins said. "They are seniors and they are co-captains so they were a step above everybody else for sure."

With the veteran guards on the team, Blevins is trying to get his front court more experience with each game. "We are just playing everybody equal up front, they are all vying for playing time" Blevins said. "Nobody in the post has played varsity so they are just getting their feet wet right now."

Nonetheless, Blevins is pleased with the way the weekend went for his team.

"I thought we got better," Blevins said. "We've got so many young kids, our perimeter players are veterans and I thought B.J. and Tony played extremely well. Rande and Kalin [Garner] did a decent job and Fennell played well in the second game against Johnson County, everybody else is so young."

With the Thanksgiving Tournament in Greeneville scheduled this week, Blevins hopes that his team will gain more experience to get themselves ready for the district games that are upcoming in a few weeks.

"We had to play this [past] weekend and we did for the most part," Blevins said. " We play at least four games in the tournament this week so we hope that playing this many games will get us ready for next week."


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