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Super 16 Bulldogs soar
Behind White, BHS beats Fulton again to secure tourney title

It was simple. Give the ball to Tony White Jr. and let him score.

For the Bearden Bulldogs the championship game of the annual Super 16 Tournament against Fulton turned into the Tony White Jr. Show, as they defeated the Falcons 56-53 Wednesday, Dec. 28, at BHS. It came one day after a 67-50 semifinal win versus Cleveland.

Going into the game, the offensive game plan wasn’t any different than it was when BHS defeated Fulton a week earlier, 63-51.

However, due to an intense defense, the Bearden post players who played so well a week ago were completely taken out of the game, forcing White to do his thing.

“We knew Fulton defensively plays so well and they were in our face, we actually could not run more than one or two plays all night,” Bearden head coach Mark Blevins said. “We just had to spread it out, the guys couldn’t get open, we weren’t able to cut at all to get open and we just spread it out and let Tony play one-on-one, so it was basically Tony’s offense tonight.”

The senior point guard, who was named tournament MVP, finished the night with a career high 34 points as Bearden improved its record to 16-1 going into the week.

Throughout the game, White Jr. was hounded by a quick and intense Falcons defensive front, resulting in 12 turnovers by the senior. “Fulton is the best defensive team in Knoxville,” White said. “They really get up in your face, they play great man-to-man defense.”

Despite the turnovers, Blevins praised his senior co-captain: “He played phenomenal tonight. You can’t have enough good things to say about him, he hung tough.”

Bearden found its 3-point stroke and led 37-25 at the half with 21 points from White. But the lead eventually shrunk to 54-53 with 22 seconds remaining in the game.

However, that was as close as the Falcons got as free throws by White and Kalin Garner sealed the victory for the Bulldogs despite a 3-point attempt by Fulton guard Dennis Rogan that bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

Other BHS scorers were B.J. Ware, an All-Tournament honoree, with eight, Garner and Damonte Simpson four each, and Rande Sibley and Blake Jenkins had three apiece.


The Bulldogs cruised against Cleveland Dec. 27, led by Sibley’s 16 points. White added 15 followed by Jenkins with 11, Simpson eight, Thomas Wiley five, Ware and Hunt Rosson four each and Garner and Andrew Smith two apiece.

“They were all in our face but we knew if we could get the ball into Tony’s hands he will lead us to the win,” fellow co-captain and All-Tournament team selection Ware said. “They came hard after our post players this time so it was harder to get the ball in but with Tony, he led us to the win.”

With a five game winning streak, White Jr. is proud of where his team is heading into the New Year. “We are feeling good,” he said. “We are starting a new streak and to only have one loss, it feels real good.”


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