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Lady ’Dawgs sweep
Farragut girls rally from 15 down to tie, but BHS finishes strong to sweep series


In rivalry games experience means everything.

For Bearden, the senior leadership of Allysia Bailey enabled the Lady Bulldogs to get past the Farragut Lady Admirals 67-58 Friday, Jan. 19, at FHS’s Lynne E. Sexton Gymnasium. The BHS girls sweep the regular season series from Farragut, having won 56-42 at Bearden Dec. 8.

Bailey, who finished with a game-high 19 points, got off to a slow start. But having a senior running point proved to be a valuable asset for Bearden (13-7 overall record and 6-3 in District 4-AAA entering the week) in the end.

“She has been through a lot but she knew that if the ball was in her hands we weren’t going to lose,” Bearden head coach Nathan Hodges said of Bailey. “Having that mentality that she has the ball and we are going to win is what carried her through. And experience is everything, especially in this rivalry.”


After Farragut senior Kiah Simmons tied the game at 58-58 with 3:30 remaining in the game, Bailey hit a 3-pointer off the backboard from the top of the key to regain the lead.

“We came all the way back and tied it up then Bailey hit that bank shot from the top of the key and that’s just a tough break,” Farragut head coach Mike Driver said. “In the last couple of minutes we didn’t get in the set we needed to. When it’s loud in there and it gets exciting, sometimes you just forget things and we had our chances down the stretch. But I am very proud of them for battling down fifteen [points] in the second half to giving ourselves a chance.”

In the end it was all about experience, though and nobody felt more comfortable having the ball in her hands than Bailey.

“We were confident in each other and as a team we knew we had it and we were capable of winning because we were the better team. And we just had the mentality that we were going to go out there and give it our all,” Bailey said. “We just needed to calm down and play our game, be under control and look for the easy baskets and just give it a hundred-and-ten percent.”

From the opening tip it was Bearden’s game as they took a 20-14 lead thanks in large part to 14 points from sophomore Rikki Sanders, who connected on her first four 3-point attempts.

“We had to do what we had to do and shoot the open shots,” said Sanders, who finished with 16 points. “I have been struggling with shooting the ball some so it was my time to step up and hit a few shots.”

The hot streak didn’t come as a surprise for Hodges.

“She is only a sophomore and she has been a great practice shooter her whole career,” Hodges said. “Now that she is more experienced, she is starting to click and she is starting to make the money shots. And for her to do that early in the game and get us off to a good start was critical.”

Bearden continued to find the open shots in the second quarter and expanded their lead to 43-29 heading into halftime.

“I thought they did a good job of finding the open girl,” Driver said. “We were switching up defenses a lot and we weren’t always on the same page ... they did a real good job exploiting whenever we had a little breakdown. They found it and that was big in the first half. We did a better job in the second half not letting those breakdowns happen.”

After two free throws by Bailey with five minutes remaining in the third quarter, Bearden matched its biggest lead of the game, 47-32.

It was then that Farragut (12-12, 1-8) made its bid for a second half comeback. The Lady Admirals closed the deficit to 55-46 at the end of the third quarter.

“We pressured them early and they were more prepared this time for it,” Hodges said. “They were doing a good job of breaking it but just speeding up the game allowed us to get out to a big lead. The second half they were still breaking our press but they were more poised, so I give them credit for fighting back and they played really well.”

After tying the game in the fourth, FHS couldn’t get over the hump and get the lead as Bearden finished the game on a 9-0 run.

“In our heads we had to keep thinking we were going to pull it out and no matter what they did we were going to strike back with a win,” Sanders said. “We are going to keep winning and hopefully we are going to pull it out and go to state we are hoping to beat Maryville and keep moving on.”

Aside from Bailey and Sanders, Bearden got 17 points from Hirst. Sarah Canter had six, Tiffany Johnson five while Ellen Smith and Jenna Maynard added two apiece.

Scoring for Farragut was Stephanie Torrence 13, K.B. Beverly 11, Simmons 10, Allison Bosse nine, Meredith Lindley eight and C.J. Dake seven.

The loss for Farragut marks its eighth district loss of the year.

“We’ve lost three games before this by two points and we have had some injuries,” Driver said. “Mentally its tough on these girls. ...”

BHS 65 HERITAGE 56

Confidence couldn’t be any higher in the other locker room as the Lady Bulldogs are riding a three-game district winning steak.

Perhaps most impressive was a 65-56 road win against perennial district power Heritage Tuesday, Jan. 16.

Bailey’s 29 points led the way while Hirst added 16.

MARYVILLE 55 FHS 53

The Lady Admirals lost to Maryville 55-53 in overtime Tuesday, Jan. 16 at MHS. Beverly led FHS with 18 points.

Others scoring were Bosse with 12, Simmons eight, Dake seven, Lindley three, Stephanie Harris three and Brittany Doss two.

 

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