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One tourney win for BHS girls

A good start to the Land-Air Classic quickly turned sour, in one-sided fashion, for Bearden’s Lady Bulldogs.

Opening the tourney with a 59-44 win versus Claiborne County Monday, Nov. 23, the BHS girls (2-2) found Greeneville High School’s floor unfriendly in blowout losses to Unicoi County, 62-37, Friday, and Elizabethton, 60-30, Saturday.

Missing sophomore point guard Jai-Jai McLaughlin the final two games (away with family) plus the continued absence of senior guard Taylor Cravanas due to a foot injury “left us shorthanded,” BHS head coach Nathan Hodges said.

Three Lady Bulldogs reached double figures scoring against Claiborne, led by senior post Ellen Smith’s 20 followed by 16 from senior forward Shayla McDaniel and 10 from junior guard Mallory Uekman.

With seven points and nine assists, McLaugh-lin “did a nice job setting up Shayla and Ellen inside,” Hodges said.

Unicoi’s 24-11 run in the second quarter was a knockout blow Friday. “They shot the ball well ... and they did a nice job of taking Ellen out of the game, got her in foul trouble,” Hodges said. “We didn’t play our best game.”

McDaniel led Bearden with 12 points, followed by Leslie Sayers with six. Smith, Mary-Mc Alexander and Sara Burklin each tossed in four, and Carolyn Hill scored two.

Elizabethton, a Class AA state tournament team last season with lots of returning experience, “Obviously is really tough,” Hodges said. “They shot the ball well.”

Smith scored 10 to lead Bearden, followed by McDaniel nine, Alexander four, Hill three and two each for Uekman and Burklin.

Bearden hosted Webb School of Knoxville Tuesday, Dec. 1 (after press deadline), before hitting the road to begin District 4-AAA action at Heritage Friday, Dec. 4. Opening tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m.


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