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Lady ’Dawgs peaking; await FHS


With the regular season winding down, the Bearden Lady Bulldogs are peaking at the right time as the Lady Bulldogs beat South-Doyle 67-36 Friday, Feb. 8, at BHS.

Bearden (14-9 overall entering the week and No. 4 seed in the upcoming District 4-AAA tourney with a final 9-5 final record) took control from the opening tip. Dena Riner hit a 3-pointer with 40 seconds remaining in the first quarter to give BHS a 20-10 lead.

“At the beginning of the game we went out there and we thought it was going to be easy for us,” said Riner, a senior. “We knew we could win and we are just trying to work on postseason stuff and getting ready for Farragut the first district [tournament] game.”

Bearden will host archrival Farragut, No. 5 seed, in 4-AAA tourney opening round action at 7 p.m. today, Thursday, Feb. 14. The loser’s season is over. See related story starting on page 13.

Winner earns a region berth and will likely face top seed Heritage at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at South-Doyle. Tournament finals are Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Against the Lady Cherokees, Bearden held South-Doyle to two second quarter points to take a 36-12 lead into halftime.

“We played pretty well,” Bearden head coach Nathan Hodges said. “We are trying to get ready for the post-season and I thought we took a good step in that direction.”

Junior Mary Hirst led Bearden with 16 points. Others scoring for Bearden were Riner 12, Shayla McDaniel 10, Joy McCuen seven, Jenna Maynard six, Rikki Sanders four, Shanae Nunez four, Taylor Cravanas two, Sarah Canter two and Ellen Smith two.

“I thought the effort was really good,” Hodges said. “We are just trying to emphasize to our kids that every possession is going to count come tournament time. It could mean the difference between moving on or ending your season so we are trying to work on playing the right way on every trip.”

Part of the reason the Lady Bulldogs were so successful against South-Doyle and in their previous games is due to their stifling defense.

“We have got to defend well every trip,” Hodges said. “Recently we have played some great games where we have guarded on and off the ball well.

“On offense we can’t have long offensive droughts,” the BHS coach added. “When we have gotten beat this year we have gone through spells where we can’t score, and we just need to be more efficient on offense.”

BHS 65 WILLIAM BLOUNT 40

Bearden completed the regular season sweep of William Blount with a 65-40 win Tuesday, Feb. 5, at WBHS. Sanders and Riner led Bearden with 12 points each.

 

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