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BHS boys fall short
Maryville’s Damron, Basile too much for Bearden boys in District 4-AAA semifinals

Guard play was the killer, Mark Blevins said, that terminated Bearden’s hopes for a District 4-AAA tourney title showdown with archrival Farragut.

But the BHS head coach didn’t have to say much, as Maryville guard Jordan Damron and wing Kent Basile spoke volumes by attacking the Bulldog defense early-on. The MHS pair set the tone for an eventual 74-60 Rebel win on its home court in the 4-AAA semifinals Monday, Feb. 19.

“Damron had a tremendous game, he just took it to us ... and we couldn’t handle it,” Blevins said as the sharpshooting guard also fired home five three-point baskets, ending with a game-high 29 points. Basile, who dodged second-half foul trouble, ended with 21. “And Basile had an outstanding game.”

Though outrebounding the Rebs, Bearden’s generally cold shooting touch was fatal. Meanwhile, Bearden’s 6-foot-7 post Demonte Simpson, an All-District honoree, got in second-half foul trouble and ended with five points.

Sophomore forward Blake Jenkins, Bearden’s other All-District selection, led his team with 14. Marcus Webb, who won praise from Blevins for his play off the bench, scored 13. Dustin Craig added 10.

The No. 3 seed Bulldogs (24-9 record as of Feb 19) played No. 4 William Blount in the 4-AAA consolation game Wednesday, Feb 21 (after press deadline).

Bearden will play on the road at either a No. 1 or No. 2 seed from District 3-AAA in the opening round of Region 2-AAA action Saturday. Opening tip-off is 7 p.m.

Region tourney semifinals are Tuesday, Feb. 27, and finals are Thursday, March 1 — both at West High School.


Behind Damron and Basile attacking the BHS defense with driving baskets, Maryville zoomed ahead 20-11. But a Bearden rally, sparked by effective play near the basket, cut the difference to 22-21 with 7:15 left in the half.

Again, the No. 2 seed Rebels (23-6 record as of Feb. 19) pushed further ahead, using a late three-point play from Basile to lead 39-30 at the break.

A 10-0 ’Dawg run behind Jenkins and Webb closed a 42-30 edge to 42-40. But consecutive threes from Damron keyed a 13-4 MHS run, making it 55-44 after three.

Within eight, 55-47, Beardensaw Maryville explode on a 10-2 run for a 65-49 led with 3:45 to play.


It wasn’t pretty, but the Bulldogs got the job done against No. 6 seed Sevier County, winning 44-40 in the first round of the tourney Friday, Feb. 16, at BHS.

Jenkins had 10 points, but it was his defense that made the biggest difference. Guarding Sevier County’s leading scorer, James Feezel, and holding him to a game-high 15 points, “Jenkins did a really good job defensively on Feezel because he is lethal,” Blevins said.

Craig scored a team-high 14 points. Bearden point guard Andy Fennell had seven points, five rebounds and four steals.


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