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Dawggish defensive display times 2
Craig defense, Galen Campbell scoring spark lay groundwork for BHS rout of Farragut boys

When’s the last time an “underdog” won by 43 points.

While at least three Bearden basketball players said they were motivated by “Internet” reports their unbeaten Bulldogs were underdogs versus rival Farragut, BHS’s defensive intensity was at fever pitch.

Smothering defense for three-plus quarters, led by an emerging senior, and a third quarter offensive surge led by Galen Campbell propelled Bearden to an 84-41 rout of the Admirals Friday, Dec. 12, at BHS.

Forcing numerous turnovers for easy baskets, “We did have great defensive pressure tonight, and that’s what caused the difference in the score,” BHS head coach Mark Blevins said, as his Bulldogs improved to 9-0 overall, 3-0 in District 4-AAA. Farragut fell to 7-2 overall, 2-1 in 4-AAA.

Critical to that defensive success was holding Farragut standout senior post Sam Watson to just two points.

Dustin Craig, 6-foot-6 BHS senior wing, “totally shut [Watson] down,” Blevins said. “Dustin’s had three sensational games in a row. … His rebounding has improved so much, his perimeter scoring’s improved, taking the ball to the hole’s improved, his post-up game’s improved. He’s really learning how to play basketball.”

Craig scored 12 points.

Blevins said Craig and Nathan Parker “rotated every two minutes” guarding Watson, who was held to one first period basket.

Putting much of the blame for Farragut’s performance on his shoulders, Watson added, “I’ve never seen a defense like that and I’m not used to it.”

However, “You can’t just stop Watson because Farragut, traditionally, is going to have shooters,” Blevins said. “You can’t go down and double up much. I thought they did good job individually on Watson. Our help defense was great.”

Farragut head coach Donald Dodgen said Bearden “played probably about as well as they could, and we played about as bad as we could.

“We just simply did not do a good job offensively and it snowballed,” Dodgen added. “I bet we had 30 turnovers. … Our feelings are hurt.

“It’s my fault, I take full responsibility. …”

But the Bulldogs didn’t make it a blowout until the third quarter, leading only 34-20 at the break before matching that 34-point total in the third quarter.

“Galen Campbell, he had a field day,” Blevins said about the sophomore post’s game-high 19 points, 12 in the third quarter. “He had a breakout game. He showed offensively what he can do.”

Campbell said he “was just feeling it, and the team kept feeding me the ball and I was just hitting everything.”

A 28-5 run during the final 5:19 of the third quarter sealed the deal quickly, 68-29, as Nathan Parker added six of his 15 points in the third.

Demonte Simpson, Bearden’s 6-foot-9 senior post had nine. Ty Greene tossed in seven for Bearden, followed by Benji Ware and Gabe Campbell each scoring five, Blake Jenkins and Jaeland Lawson four apiece, and two points each for Dion Fair and Nick Kelley.

Ten of Landon Hunley’s team-high 12 points for Farragut came in the second half. All eight of Jonathan Moore’s points came in the first half.

Three 3-point baskets from Moore and Wayman McLaughlin combined kept FHS close after eight minutes, as Bearden led 15-12.

McLaughlin's six points for game were a pair of opening frame “threes.”

Zach Warnock scored four points for Farragut, with Reese Browning adding three, and two each for Austin Bolen, Ben Mixer and DeAndre Purty.

About his Admirals rebounding from such a one-sided loss, Dodgen said, “This team’s a pretty resilient team.”

As for being “underdogs,” Galen Campbell said, “We saw something, like, on the Internet that we were supposed to lose by 15 or 20, and we came out with a chip on our shoulders.”

Jenkins added, “We came in the underdog; it was surprising, coming into our own gym the underdogs. That upset us, so we just came out and just committed to defense and stopping our man.”


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