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Fulton rallies, BHS 2nd in ‘16’

The Bearden Bulldogs learned a valuable lesson in their 59-58 loss to Fulton Friday, Dec. 29, in the Appalachian Business Communications Super 16 Championship at BHS.

After being up by as many as 19 points in the first half, the Bulldogs saw their lead gradually slip away at the hands of a more experienced Fulton team.

With 1.5 seconds remaining, Fulton’s Dominique Minor gave the Falcons the lead for good with a scoop shot off the backboard.

Bearden’s final heave down court was tipped away as time expired.

“We’re growing and hopefully it hurts really bad so we can continually get better,” Bearden head coach Mark Blevins said.

In a game where Bearden (13-5 overall record entering the week) committed 27 turnovers, immaturity dominated.

“They had eight points in transition because of our immaturity,” Blevins said. “If we don’t get the call we are going to stand there instead of going back in transition, or if we make a turnover we sit there and pout, so that’s immaturity.”

Early it was Bearden that looked like the dominant team as they took a 31-23 lead into halftime largely because of the play of 6-foot-7 sophomore Demonte Simpson. He dominated the post by scoring 22 points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots.

With a 48-39 lead heading into the fourth quarter it seemed as if Bearden was on its way to a second consecutive Super 16 title.

And then it changed as Fulton (14-0) outscored the Bulldogs 20-10 in the final quarter.

“In the fourth quarter it was our ball-handling,” Blevins said. “We couldn’t make the simple pass, we just have to keep working on it.”

Simpson’s early dominance was hampered by foul trouble, forcing the Bulldogs to change their approach and rest the sophomore more than they planned.

“He got in foul trouble,” Blevins said. “Had he stayed in the game in the first half we could have extended our margin and it might have been a different game there. Again its maturity, he’s got to learn how to play and not foul so much.”

Simpson, who connected on his first eight shots, attributed his success to his post moves that he has been working on in practice. But he admits that he has a lot of work to do still.

“We just need to work on growing up a little bit and playing more as a team,” Simpson said.

Despite the loss, Blevins feels that his team in heading in the right direction.

“We had a good week, I think we grew up tonight, but you cut out those eight transition buckets over just pouting we win the game right there,” the coach said. “We’ve still got to grow and become men and that’s the great thing about sports.”


Led by Simpson’s 31 points, the Bulldogs cruised to a 104-65 win over Rhea County in the Super 16 opener Wednesday, Dec. 27. Jenkins added 15, Craig 12 while Rosson and Marcus Webb had 10 apiece.


Bearden defeated Anderson County 61-57 Thursday, Dec. 28 in the second round of the Super 16.

Simpson had 15, Jenkins and Rosson 14 each and Dustin Craig 11.


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