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Two convincing wins lead BHS toward Friday showdown


For the Bearden Bulldogs basketball team all that matters is finishing. A game that saw the Bulldogs trail Heritage 17-11 in the first quarter quickly turned to a rout in a Bearden 79-61 win Friday, Dec. 1, at BHS.

Sophomore Gabriel Campbell led Bearden with 18 points while fellow sophomore Blake Jenkins chipped in 17 as Heritage couldn’t match the intensity that the young Bearden team showed.


“We had to match their intensity because they had us down seventeen-eleven right off the bat so we just had to keep playing a little bit of volleyball down there until something fell for us,” Bearden head coach Mark Blevins said. “That is the key for us, we are young and we haven’t learned that intensity and if we play like that every night we will be in business.”

Bearden (7-2 overall and 1-0 in District 4-AAA entering the week) cut the Heritage lead to 21-18 to end the first quarter. But it was only a matter of seconds before the Bulldogs gained the momentum and took the lead for good. Bearden outscored the Mountaineers 27-11 in the second to take a 45-32 halftime lead.

“Heritage shot the eyes out in the first half,” Blevins said. “I was really pleased with the way we played them because they ran their patterns well; they’ve got a lot of shooters on that team.”

Michael Haynes led Heritage with 17 points and Dustin Brown added 11, but they were slowed in the second half.

“The one thing that we did was we started switching on all their picks because they ran so many picks for the guards and that kind of slowed it down a little bit, especially in the second half,” Blevins said about his halftime adjustments.

Bearden took a 58-42 lead into the fourth and the intensity level was every bit as much as it was in the second quarter for the Bulldogs. A two-handed dunk by Jenkins halfway through the fourth proved it.

“It was just in the moment,” said Jenkins about his dunk that brought the crowd to its feet and earned him a standing ovation. “We played with great intensity.”

Blevins was pleased with how his entire team played but was especially proud of Jenkins, who seems to be fully recovered from a back injury that plagued him last year and into the early part of this season.

“I was really pleased with everybody, but Blake had his best game of the season,” the coach said. “We were able to give our bench some quality minutes.”

Campbell also turned in his best game of the year and has proved to be quite a versatile player for the young Bulldogs team. After losing junior guard David Upchurch for the season because of a leg injury, Blevins has been trying to find a point guard for his team and Campbell has filled the void nicely.

“Gabe is going to make us quite a player,” Blevins said. “We started him off at one and then he played three and if we needed him inside he can play inside because he can post up well, and he really goes strong to the boards. Tonight I thought his defense really stood out as well.”

BHS 72 WEST 53

Sophomore Demonte Simpson led Bearden with 19 points and Bearden won its home opener 72-53 Tuesday, Nov. 28. Others scoring for the Bulldogs were Jenkins 11, Hunt Rosson 10, Dustin Craig 9, Campbell 9, Andy Fennell 7, Matt Ternes 4 and Marcus Webb 3.

BHS 73 COCKE COUNTY 51

The Bulldogs were led by senior Rosson’s 16 points as they cruised to a 73-51 win Nov. 27 at CCHS.

 

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