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’Dawgs end FHS season
Simpson motivated to sizzle versus Ads, tallies 23 points, 11 boards in 64-55 win

Bearden junior Demonte Simpson had something to prove as he led Bearden to a 64-55 win against Farragut in the Region 2-AAA semifinals, Tuesday, Feb. 26, at BHS.

After a sub-par performance by his own standards in the district tournament meeting between these two teams, Simpson wanted to show that this time around things would be different.

After being outscored 22-12 by the Farragut post players Feb. 18 when Bearden won 60-57, Simpson made sure he would give the Admirals plenty of trouble inside the paint.

“Coach reminded me every day in practice how they outscored me,’ Simpson said. “I just had to come and play my heart out.”

The 6-foot-9 post scored a game-high 23 points on 10-of-17 from the field and grabbed 11 rebounds to pave the way for the Bulldogs.

“We have a hard time handling him,” Farragut head coach Donald Dodgen said. “Once he gets in the lane we can’t get him out. He is a man. He is a big-time post player and he is strong.”

Bearden controlled the pace the entire game and never allowed Farragut to have a lead. Simpson scored 14 first-half points as the Bulldogs took a 29-17 lead into halftime.

“The first half was the difference in the ballgame,” Dodgen said. “If we would have made a few buckets the first half I believe we would have won the game. But we dug ourselves such a hole against a good ball club.”

The Bulldogs shot 17-of-26 from the free-throw line. Farragut cut the Bearden lead to 47-42 with 5:23 left in the game after a Riley Hunley bucket, but the Bulldogs proceeded to go on a 7-0 run to expand its lead to 54-42 with 3:30 left.

“We did a halfway decent job at times but we just couldn’t get a ball to go in,” Dodgen said. “I would figure after playing someone four times we would know what we needed to do, but they are a great ballclub. If they don’t win the state I would be surprised.”

Andy Fennell had 12 points and Blake Jenkins scored 10 for Bearden. Kyle Binder led Farragut with 13 and Hunley chipped in 12 for the Admirals.

Farragut’s season ends with a 25-8 overall record, but Dodgen said he is proud of what his team accomplished this year after losing eight players from 2006-07.

“I’m proud of my kids,” Dodgen said. “A lot of people didn’t think they could win 15. They played hard and we beat some quality teams this year.”

Dodgen also praised FHS assistant coach Chris Cool. “Coach Cool has done a good job with the offense and defense, he works ’em every day hard,” the FHS head coach said. “He’s been an asset to the program.”


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