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Hirst takes charge against Fulton


Bearden’s Mary Hirst is so good that sometimes her coach, Nathan Hodges, forgets that she is only a sophomore.

The 6-foot-1 post has been an integral part of Bearden’s success throughout this young season and it was made even more apparent in a 66-58 win over Fulton Saturday, Dec. 16, in the Holiday Classic at Fulton High School.

The sophomore finished with 27 points and was 9-11 from the free-throw line to lead Bearden (7-4 overall record entering the week) to its fourth straight win.

“We ask her to do a lot,” Hodges said about Hirst. “She is only a sophomore and sometimes I forget that and I am a little hard on her. But that is only because she has a lot of potential and she came through in the clutch today.”

With a similar fastpaced style of play for both teams it was a close game until the very end. Fulton guards Portia Bishop (16 points) and Jasmine Lewis (18 points) gave the Lady Bulldogs fits all night and got Bearden’s standout guard Allysia Bailey, who finished with 17 points, in foul trouble early.

“Portia and Jasmine played really well for them and got our guards in foul trouble, so we had to change our style to try and slow them down and it ended up working for us,” Hodges said.

Bishop was forced to leave via ambulance with 5:11 remaining in the fourth quarter with an apparent hip injury. After nearly a 40-minute delay, play resumed with Fulton up 53-52.

A 14-5 run the finish the game allowed Bearden to escape with the win.

“They did a good job mentally of staying sharp and being able to come out and we scored on the second possession and took the lead,” said Hodges, who was pleased with how focused his team remained during the delay. “I didn’t know how they would respond, but they responded well.”

BHS 53 LENOIR CITY 37

Behind Bailey’s 14 points the Lady Bulldogs cruised to a 53-37 victory over Lenoir City Dec. 15 on the road.

Bearden improved its District 4-AAA record to 3-2.

BHS 73 SEVIER COUNTY 51

The Lady Bulldogs crushed Sevier County 73-51 Dec. 12 at home. Bailey led Bearden with 22 points while Sanders and Hirst each contributed 18.

 

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