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Lady Ad rally short,

Surviving a late-game Farragut rally after almost blowing a 26-10 lead, the Bearden Lady Bulldogs junior varsity-freshmen girls basketball team was crowned champions of an eight-team Knox-area tournament Saturday.

Led by Taylor Cravanas’ 12 points, including a critical basket with 1:58 to play and converting 5-of-6 free throws in the final 25 seconds, Bearden edged the Lady Admirals 43-39 in the title game Feb. 2 in FHS’s Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium.

“It’s great when you have a small lead at the end to have someone who can hit free throws,” said BHS head coach Daniel Champion, whose team went 3-0 in the tournament. “We came through tonight as a team, hit most of our free throws. We stepped it up at the end.

“It’s been a long season, but we finally got together. It was a great win tonight.”

While Bearden’s record improved to 11-5 overall, the Lady Admirals fell to 7-6.

Other Lady Bulldog scorers were Ellen Smith with nine, Shayla McDaniel eight, Morgan Thomas seven, Michelle Heath four and Shanae Nunez three points.

Farragut, which trailed 26-10 one minute into the third quarter, pulled to within seven, 32-25, after three.

Holding Bearden scoreless for roughly seven minutes from late in the third quarter until the 3:16 mark of the fourth, Farragut pulled to within one point on three occasions before Cravanas’ clutch late basket.

“We played a good full-court defense,” FHS head coach Jennifer Eidemiller said. “I thought they played well. We got some good turnovers there at the end. Free throws really hurt us, and we couldn’t buy a bucket early.”

Hayley Newby had a game-high 13 points for the Lady Admirals, 11 in the second half, followed by Jessica Griswold with 12, Abbie Cooper six, Kristen Chapman five and Katie Cargo three points.

With Farragut’s team made up almost entirely of freshmen, Eidemiller said her team usually plays opponents with a junior varsity-freshman mix. “If we see it early [in the season], we get use to it,” she said. “Sometimes it’s frustrating, but a lot of times it’s a good opportunity.”

Bearden started quickly, zooming ahead 7-0 before taking an 8-2 lead after one quarter..

The visitors built a 21-10 halftime advantage behind five second quarter points from Smith and four from Cravanas.


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