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Roadrunners run out of BHS gym — twice
No. 1 Dawgs rip No. 1 A-E; Bearden girls win then lose at Sevier Co.

As it was on that Friday night when Oak Hill came to town, the Bearden gym was packed to the rafters, and the Lady Bulldogs and Bulldogs on the floor did not disappoint in the least, sweeping a twin bill from the Lady Roadrunners and Roadrunners of Austin-East.

As first reported on Farragut First Edition,, the girls team won 60-49 and the Class AAA No. 1 boys team (23-1) absolutely dominated the Tennessee Class AA No. 1 Roadrunners 109-67, Tuesday, Jan. 27.

Perhaps that result sent shockwaves all across the width and breadth of the state, even into Shelby County.

While the Bearden boys went on to beat 4-AAA rival Sevier County 69-50 Friday, Jan. 30, at SCHS, the Lady Bulldogs tasted defeat in District 4-AAA for the first time following a 56-54 overtime loss to the Bearettes.

But Nathan Hodges’ BHS girls, 15-4 overall, 9-1 in 4-AAA, still lead the district and have a two-game lead in the loss column versus Farragut and Heritage. (SCHS game details later in this story)


Having not played for a week, there was some justifiable concern that the layoff might hurt the Lady Bulldog effort, but the Lady Bulldogs (15-3) jumped to a 29-18 halftime lead, led by as much as 17 after three quarters, and make the necessary plays to beat back a Lady Roadrunner quintet (2-17) that cut the lead to 56-48 in the latter stages of the period.

We were a little rusty, especially on the offensive end,” Hodges said. “Antrece Taylor is a really good player, one who is tough to guard. When we tried to pressure her, she went by us. When we sagged off, she pulled up and hit the jump shot. They were gambling when we pulled down rebounds. We knew if we could get a clean outlet, we could beat them down the floor.”

Mary Hirst led the way with 16 points, 12 in the second half. As always, she was a key factor in the game at both ends of the floor. Shayla McDaniel added 10 points, Taylor Cravanas and Rikki Sanders each had nine, Ellen Smith eight, Joy McCuen six and Leslie Sayers two.

McCuen had six in the first half, and Sanders added seven, including a 3-pointer to help expand the lead. Smith had six in the first half to take some of the load off Hirst.

“The layoff hurt us some,” McDaniel said. “It was about an average night for me.”

The Lady Bulldogs rolled to a 10-3 lead 4:16 into the game and kept a working margin into and through the fourth quarter. Cravanas, Smith, and Hirst led way in the final period as the Lady Bulldogs ended up on top.

“It was good for us to take a week off and regroup and get ready for the second half of the season,” Carvanas said. “We have to learn to play people’s best players better,” referring to BHS having no answer for Taylor, who scored 29 points.


Anybody who was worried about a letdown following the loss to Oak Hill Academy this past Friday night had to have been heartened by the way the Bulldogs took command of the game, rolling to a 20-point halftime lead and maintaining that lead through the third quarter.

They closed the game on a 31-9 run in the fourth quarter that saw the Bulldogs knock home 3 threes and accelerate the tempo in an amazing show of basketball on each end.

“We played awfully well tonight,” head coach Mark Blevins said. “Everybody came to play and gave maximum effort, especially defensively. The only problem is we fouled way too much.”

Then came a little history lesson. “In the history of Knoxville basketball, do you ever think there’s ever been a No. 1 playing a No. 1?” Blevins said. “That was monumental for both teams. Austin-East and Bearden is always a good game, anyway, but it’s never had this kind of significance.”

Thirteen Bulldogs scored on the evening, with four — Nathan Parker (19), Blake Jenkins (17), Ty Greene (14), and Dion Fair (10) — in double figures, followed by Galen Campbell with nine, Demonte Simpson and Jaeland Lawson with seven each, Benji Ware and Rico White with six each, Nick Kelley and J.P. Burris with five each and Gabe Campbell and Will Winton with two each.

“We brought some intensity on defense,” Parker said. “We came out confident and played our hearts out. Our intensity picked up our mistakes.”

The offensive onslaught broke a gym record set back in 1993, when the Bulldogs put up 108 against West.

“We came out focused, with a lot of energy,” Green said. Coach said if we played with a lot of energy, we’d win the game. We came out with energy, and we won.”


Two Sevier County free throws with less than one second left in regulation tied the game despite clutch late-game shots from McCuen (eight points) that tied it and from Hirst (17) that put Bearden up. McDaniel added 14.

Sanders (three points) fouled late late in regulation while Hirst played most of the second half and OT with four fouls.

“Sevier County played excellent and we didn’t play well,” Hodges said.


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