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Lady ’Dawgs bounce back from MHS loss to beat Karns in region opener

Over the past two weeks Bearden head coach Nathan Hodges has treated every game like it is a region game.

On Friday, Feb. 23, Bearden hosted Karns in the Region 2-AAA quarterfinals and came out with a 70-56 win.

After playing the Lady Beavers twice in the regular season and coming away with close wins each time, Bearden (23-9 after the win) wasn’t about to let this one come down to the wire.

“I thought we played really well,” Hodges said. “The effort and intensity was definitely there, and it felt like a region game right from the jump.”

Bearden bounced back from a 63-49 loss to Maryville in the District 4-AAA tourney title game Tuesday, Feb. 20, at MHS.


The Lady Bulldogs jumped out to an 18-point lead with 3:41 to go in the first half before Karns closed the deficit, 30-18, entering halftime.

Bearden senior guard Allysia Bailey controlled the pace of the game and led all scorers with 18 points. Junior Sarah Canter scored 14 points.

Sophomore Mary Hirst had 11 first half points but was held scoreless in the second half. The 6-foot-1 post also recorded six blocked shots. Tiffany Johnson contributed nine points for BHS.

Bearden also received solid play from Rikki Sanders, who scored 12 points despite battling a sore right shoulder. The sophomore hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter to slow a Karns run.

“She is a little banged up with all the tournament games we played, but Rikki is a warrior,” Hodges said. “Every game she always brings everything she can give us to the game.”

Karns cut the lead to seven with 5:40 left in the third, but Bearden stopped the drive at that and expanded the lead to 12 to close out the quarter 50-38.

In the fourth Karns once again cut the lead to seven with 5:31 left, but the Lady Beavers could never get closer as the Lady Bulldogs went on a 10-0 run to close out the win.

“We did a good job of taking them out of their game early, but Karns fought back and we were able to withstand their wave and play well, so I’m real pleased,” Hodges said. “Any region game is up in the air, and to bounce back after a loss to play this well is a credit to our kids. I thought their mental toughness was one hundred percent tonight.”


The Lady Rebels broke open a tight game at halftime by doing a superior job of “attacking the basket,” Hodges said, adding his team’s own offense was tenative.

Sarah Roberts led MHS with 21 points, followed by Bailie Roberts with 14.

Hirst led Bearden with 19 points, followed by Sanders — the only Lady Bulldog praised by Hodges for offensive execution — scoring 10, eight in the second quarter. Bailey scored nine, Jenna Maynard six, Johnson four and Canter two points

Bailey, Hirst and Sanders were named All-Tournament in 4-AAA.


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