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BHS girls enter Super 16 hot after fifth straight win

Tuning up for this week’s annual Appalachian Business Communications Super 16 Christmas Tournament, Nathan Hodges’ Bearden Lady Bulldogs made it five wins in a row after an easy 68-48 against Cocke County Thursday, Dec. 21, at BHS. Despite a slow start that saw the Lady ‘Dawgs trail 13-4 early, senior guard Allysia Bailey and sophomore post Mary Hirst led a second-quarter offensive surge — 19 points worth — that changed the game in a hurry.

Bearden’ improved its overall record to 8-4 entering the week, as the Lady ’Dawgs opened Super 16 play Wednesday, Dec. 27, versus Rhea County.

The winner plays the St. Scholastica Academy (La.)-Karns winner at 2 p.m., today (Thursday, Dec. 28), while the losers play at 11 a.m. today. The girls’ championship game is 2 p.m., Friday, Dec. 29.

A 15-0 run against Cocke County made it 19-14 Lady Bulldogs, who never looked back. Hirst’s short baseline shot right before the buzzer put the BHS girls up 35-22 at halftime. It was 52-33 after three quarters.

Defensively, Bearden was sparked by a new girl in town.

“They turned it around, I was proud of the way we battled through it, and I think our defense kinda got us going,” BHS head coach Nathan Hodges said, adding that junior guard Tiffany Johnson, a transfer from Bradley Central, “did a good job defending their [top] guard, who’s really, really tough. She really set the tone for us defensively, led by example on defense to get us going.”

Hirst ended with game-high 19 points, nine in the second quarter, while Bailey added 18, 10 in the second frame.

Jenna Maynard scored eight, followed by Rikki Sanders with six, Sarah Canter four and Tiffany Johnson, Mercedes Cotner and Tymier Williams three each. Stephanie McCray and Ellen Smith each scored two points.


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