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Different tests, same result: BHS sweep of Maryville
Lady Dawgs hold off MHS; Bearden boys overwhelm Rebels

Far from pretty in its half-court offensive execution, the Bearden Lady Bulldogs nevertheless had an answer for every Maryville run with defense and beating full-court pressure.

The end result was 51-46 victory at BHS Tuesday night, Dec. 8, handing the Lady Rebels their first loss (5-1, 0-1 in District 4-AAA).

“We just seemed to have the answers tonight,” said Lady Bulldogs head coach Nathan Hodges, whose team improves to 5-2 overall, 2-0 in district.

Meanwhile, the Bearden boys stayed red-hot (8-0, 2-0) in a Bulldogs rout.

A combined 47 points from the junior guard trio of Jaeland Lawson, Ty Greene and Rico White led to a 67-44 blistering of the Rebels. (More BHS boys info later in this story).

About the Lady Rebels, Hodges said, “It seemed like every time they'd catch us, we'd just make the next play. That's just a credit to our kids. ... It's knowing what it takes to win big games.

“I thought we did a good job on the defensive end, and I was surprised how successful we were on the offensive boards,” he added.

Jai-Jai McLaughlin, BHS sophomore point guard, scored a team-high 15 points while forcing steals, rebounding and helping dissect MHS full-court pressure for easy baskets.

“Jai did a great job handling the press, hit some big free throws down the stretch,” Hodges said.

McLaughlin said about the MHS full-court pressure, “They were playing it kinda soft, so we just attacked the outside shoulder and tried to get to the middle of the court where it's easiest to dribble the ball, and try to get easy points.”

Hodges said, “I thought we did a really nice job handling their pressure and making them pay when they made a mistake. If they pressured too much, we were not only able to break the press, but turn those into points.

“And that was probably the difference.”

Taylor Cravanas and Ellen Smith each scored 12 for Bearden, while Shayla McDaniel added seven and Mary-Mc Alexander five. “Shayla McDaniel, defensively, was excellent,” Hodges said.

Carrie Goodson, MHS guard, led her team with a game-high 16 points, 10 in the second quarter keeping the Lady Rebels close.

Bearden led 47-39 with less than 90 seconds to play before Maryville went on a 5-0 run — forcing a turnover and rebounding a missed one-and-one free threw chance, cutting the deficit to 47-44 with 22.8 seconds to play.

But Cravanas nailed both free throws in a one-and-one situation, making it 49-44 with just 21.7 remaining.

Bearden's boys swallowed up Maryville (4-2, 0-1) early and often with an aggressive, attack-oriented offense while forcing numerous mistakes with full-court pressure.

Led by Lawson's 20 points, along with 14 from Greene and 13 from White, it was 26-12 BHS after one quarter and 36-18 at the half before the Bulldogs zoomed ahead 50-24 after three frames.

”Coach [Mark Blevins] prepares us in practice very well, and we just push it very hard, and we just go 110 [percent] every day,” said White, who added he's “110 percent” after recovering from a broken left ankle suffered during AAU play last summer.

Other Bearden scorers included Drew Standifer with five and Charlie Bain with two points.


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