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Bearden girls crush Lenoir City; edge MHS

Despite several players battling colds, the Bearden Lady Bulldogs keep their winning streak alive with a 76-23 thrashing of Lenoir City Friday, Jan. 26, at BHS.

Led by Rikki Sanders’ six three-point field goals en route to a 20-point performance, the Lady Bulldogs cruised easily from the opening tip despite some adversity.

“It was a big win for us Tuesday over Maryville and we only had seven kids practice Wednesday because we had five sick,” Bearden head coach Nathan Hodges said. “It was good to kind of bounce back and to not have a letdown game where we came out sluggish, so I am proud of them.”

Sophomore Mary Hirst had 17 and senior Allysia Bailey had 13 coming off the bench. Bailey, who has started every game prior this season, may have been hit the hardest by colds going around the team.

“Bailey didn’t practice at all [during the week],” Hodges said. “She played tonight but I kept her out [a lot] because I didn’t want to risk her getting sicker. ...”

Despite having Bailey on the bench to begin the game, BHS (15-7, 8-3 in 4-AAA entering the week) went on a 9-0 run and eventually increased the lead 20-2 at the end of the first quarter.

“I’m proud of the effort that they started the game with and they started the second half with,” Hodges said. “It shows that we have grown up a little bit.”

Because of the big lead the Lady Bulldogs were able to empty the bench and all 11 players on the roster scored.

“We shot the ball real well and when you do that everything kind of goes right,” Hodges said. “They know that they can play with anybody we step on the floor with. And once they believe that it’s not hard to get them to shoot well or to play well because they know it’s possible.”


Despite battling a cold, Bailey led the host Lady Bulldogs to a 64-61 victory Tuesday, Jan. 23, with a game-high 23 points.

“It was a big win,” Hodges said. “Both teams were a little sloppy but I thought we did a great job down the stretch, it was back and forth.”

Bailey hit 9-of-11 free throws including 6-of-6 in the final minute to propel Bearden. Hirst scored 14, Sarah Canter had 12 and Sanders had 10.

“We had the lead there at the end, and to their credit came back and took the lead with under a minute to go. But our girls didn’t panic,” Hodges said. “It just shows that our girls have grown up a little bit and we were able pull through one of those big games in the district. And it really helps our confidence.”


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