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Defense slows Hood, ’Dawgs zoom to 12-1

Being able to defend one of the league’s best players is critical in the outcome of a basketball game.

The Bearden Bulldogs struggled to contain Lenoir City’s Tyler Hood in the first half, but a rejuvenated Bearden defensive unit shut down the sophomore in the second half and fueled a 77-49 romp over Lenoir City Friday, Dec. 14, at home.

The Bulldogs (12-1 overall and 4-1 in District 4-AAA entering the week) took control early and led 19-11 lead after one quarter and 40-25 at halftime.

However, Hood kept Lenoir City in the game with 20 first-half points, prompting Bearden coach Mark Blevins to focus his defensive attention on the 6-foot-6 forward in the second half.

“Hood is a great player, one of the best players in our league for sure,” Blevins said. “We had a tough time controlling him in the first half and our concentration was to try and stop him in the second half.”

With the adjustments, BHS held Hood to four second-half points.

“We were trying to front Hood and we couldn’t do that because we got in such foul trouble,” Blevins said. “We went back and played zone so we got a little bit of extra help out of the zone.”

Bearden junior Gabriel Campbell led the Bulldogs with 19 points. Juniors Dustin Craig and Nathan Parker had 12 each.

Others scoring were Marcus Webb nine, Blake Jenkins seven, Andy Fennell and Demonte Simpson five, Matt Ternes and Galen Campbell three and Lawson two.

“We were sluggish, and at halftime coach got on to us; and in the second half we turned it on and we did what we came to do and played hard,” Campbell said. “In the second half we turned to defense and got the win.”

Bearden knows that it is a team with a lot of potential, and with only one loss up to this point (Maryville) the Bulldogs are off to a solid start.

However, this is a team with high expectations.

“We have been playing pretty good,” Campbell said. “After the Maryville game, coach told us we had the capability to be one of the best teams he had ever coached, so we are tying to reach our goal and become a state title team.”


Bearden continued its hot streak and beat Sevier County 49-35 Tuesday, Dec. 11, at SCHS.

Simpson led the way with 13 points and nine rebounds. Craig had 11 points while Parker and Campbell scored nine apiece. Jenkins added five, with Fennell rounding out the scoring with two.


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