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’Dawgs find piece, beat Fulton, ACHS

The missing piece to the puzzle was found for the Bearden Bulldogs basketball team in its 63-51 victory over the Fulton Falcons Tuesday, Dec. 20, at BHS.

Despite a 14-1 overall record entering second-round play in the Super 16 Tournament at BHS Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 27-28 (after press deadline), the Bulldogs have been looking for inside help down in the low post all season.

Against the Falcons, it showed up in the form of two freshmen. Six-foot-6 post Damonte Simpson and 6-foot-4 post Blake Jenkins made their presence known down low while an already proven backcourt continued to shine.

“I was really pleased with was our inside people, especially Simpson early in the first quarter,” BHS head coach Mark Blevins said. “He gave us a little post presence that we have been lacking the past few games.”

Simpson and Jenkins combined to score 13 points and grab 11 rebounds. While it may not sound like a lot, the duo contributed a lot in terms of momentum.

Simpson started off by scoring the Bulldogs’ first five points of the game and capped off his six-point evening with a final point on a free throw with just less than two minutes left in the first quarter.

After halftime, Jenkins took over and scored all of his seven, including two quick baskets, to start of the third quarter.

“The two freshman really set the standard for us early and helped us out defensively,” Blevins said. “We ended up with three blocks, which is not a lot, but we were still able to change some shots and they didn’t get a whole lot of inside scoring. And so I can’t be more pleased.”

With the jump-start to each half by the big men, the guards, led by senior Tony White Jr., were ignited. White led the Bulldogs’ scoring with 17 points while contributing nine assists, five rebounds and two steals.

Seniors B.J. Ware and Rande Sibley also had outstanding games according to Blevins. Ware had nine points to go along with three steals and three rebounds and Sibley continued to find his offensive rhythm by adding 13 points including 3 of 6 from 3-point range.

“It was an all-around effort,” Blevins said. “I thought everyone who played brought something to the table tonight.”

The Bulldogs shot 46 percent as a team on 21 of 46 shooting, a percentage that Blevins was extremely pleased with.

“We shot the ball better tonight than we had any of the last three games,” the coach said. “We had really been in a slump shooting. We have been down in the 33 [percent] range so I’m real pleased with the shooting even thought it can still improve.”

Another area that Blevins was pleased with was the improved defensive play. Over the last couple of games the coach was disappointed with the defensive effort. But against Fulton the defensive came alive and BHS co-captain Ware couldn’t agree more.

“I think we played great,” Ware said. “We hustled a lot and got a bunch of rebounds.

“We always have to be aggressive when we play Fulton, it’s always man-to-man the whole game and we stepped it up.”

BHS 76 ACHS 42

Bearden breezed past Anderson County 76-42 in the opening round of Super 16 play Monday, led by White’s 23 points, followed by Jenkins and Ware with 10 each, Sibley with eight and Marcus Webb with six points.

Matt Ternes scored four, Kalin Garner three and two points apiece for Hunt Rosson, Andrew Smith, Damonte Simpson, Nathan Parker, Andy Fennell and Thomas Wiley.

Bearden sank 14 of 15 free throws. Anderson County’s record fell to 4-6.


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