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BHS girls stay perfect in 4-AAA

An overplaying perimeter defense backed up by the “twin towers” and a patient yet attacking offense added up to continued District 4-AAA perfection for Bearden’s Lady Bulldogs.

The BHS girls completed a tough but successful road week Friday, Jan. 16, at rival Farragut with a hard-fought 46-37 victory against the archrival Lady Ads in Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium. (Story first appeared in Farragut First Edition /

The Lady Bulldogs improved to 14-3 overall while staying perfect atop 4-AAA at 9-0. Farragut dropped to 14-6, 6-3.

Though Farragut’s defensive post trio of Hayley Newby, Kylann Scheidt and reserve Anna Brinson held Bearden’s 6-foot-2 tandem of Mary Hirst and Ellen Smith to a combined 12 points, other problems arose for FHS.

“When you have two girls as big as Hirst and Ellen, you can be really, really aggressive on the perimeter. They got really, really aggressive with our guards,” FHS head coach Wes Edmonds said of his team’s scoring problems. “So when they take ’em off the dribble, you’re driving into girls 6-[foot]-2. … That’s tough, that makes it tough to score.

“Nothing was going in for us, we had the same problem over there [loss at BHS Dec. 12],” he added.

Leading 15-9 after one quarter while holding FHS senior standout guard Stephanie Torrence to three first-half points, Bearden’s defense remained sticky in the second quarter. That was minus a pair of three-point baskets from Farragut sophomore wing Katie Cargo.

“Katie hit some big shots … she showed a lot, she stepped up tonight,” Edmonds said.

Bearden led 21-18 at the half.

Defensively for BHS, “We were able to contain Torrence early, seemed like just enough to where, by the time she got really in a rhythm, it was almost too late,” Bearden head coach Nathan Hodges said. “I thought our defense was really good.”

Torrence scored 14 of her game-high 17 points in the second half.

Lady Bulldogs juniors Shayla McDaniel, who scored eight points, and point guard Taylor Cravanas, who added six, were the biggest part of that aggressive perimeter defense.

Hodges said McDaniel “did a great job, she scored some of those baskets inside early and she had to guard Torrence the whole game.”

Inside, Smith held FHS standout sophomore post Hayley Newby to four points.

Edmonds also cited turnovers as a big negative: “probably about twice as much as they [had].”

McDaniel said “defense and rebounding” were the big keys, while Sanders said tough defense will “win the games for you, and eventually it’s going to roll into your offense and create plays.”

Other Lady Ads scorers were Jennifer Rutherford five, Scheidt four and Brinson one free throw.

Defensively for FHS, “We were focusing on Smith and Hirst,” Edmonds said. “We were willing to give up a little bit from the outside in attempt to do that.”

Scheidt labeled her battle with Hirst “pretty equal,” adding the FHS post defense “did a pretty good job” limiting Hirst (eight points) and Smith (four). “I thought we held our own.”

Hodges said FHS “had decided they weren’t going to let Ellen and Mary beat us. They had three kids on the baseline, they had Mary manned up ... it opened up space right through the elbow for our guards to attack the basket.”

As a result, Rikki Sanders’ team-leading 12 points proved vital. “Probably Rikki Sanders getting going early in the game was crucial,” Hodges said. “Got in for some three-point plays, got Scheidt and Newby in foul trouble early.”


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