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Make it 20

A tentative start on the road against an athletic opponent put the state’s No. 1-ranked Class AAA Bearden Bulldogs’ unbeaten season — and attempt at a school record — in jeopardy.

But behind the third-quarter scoring burst of Ty Greene, BHS junior guard, and a matching 22-point effort from junior guard Rico White, the Bulldogs set a school record — 20 straight wins — in an 83-64 victory at Austin-East Tuesday night, Jan. 26.

“In the first half we played very conservatively … sometimes when you’ve got a streak going I think you’re playing to lose,” BHS head coach Mark Blevins said of his team’s 34-33 halftime deficit where Bearden trailed by as many as seven.

“In the second half, we changed it aroun,” Blevins added, as BHS improves to 20-0, and is 10-0 in District 4-AAA. The Roadrunners fell to 9-11.

Meanwhile, Shayla McDaniel’s defense, key offensive quarters from three Lady Bulldogs and going 11-of-11 from the free throw line in the second half added up to victory.

McDaniel’s seven first-quarter points and Ellen Smith’s six in the second frame paced the BHS girls to a 20-15 halftime lead, as the Lady Dawg beat A-E 41-31.

Defensively, McDaniel held A-E standout scorer Antrece Taylor to just one point.

“That was huge, she’s one of their best scorers in guard play,” BHS head coach Nathan Hodges said. (More on BHS girls later in this story)

Saying A-E’s athleticism was a factor early, Blevins added, “a couple of times we were out on break looking around to see if we were going to get our shot blocked.”

From early in the third quarter, however, “We got a lot of points in transition,” Blevins said. “That was a big key. And then Rico had a lot of nice one-on-one moves.”

As for Greene, “I thought Ty was a big key in the second half. And Dion [Fair] was steady all night” as BHS point guard.

As for the second-half turnaround, “We just picked up the intensity, started pressuring the ball more, hustling more as a team,” said Fair, who scored four.

Jaeland Lawson scored seven for Bearden, and Spencer Peake and Drew Standifer added six points each. Chris Phillips scored five, as did DeQuan Wright.

Will Winton, junior post, led in rebounding with seven to go with his two points. White added six rebounds.

Jai-Jai McLaughlin, sophomore point guard, ignited the offense late in the third quarter with seven straight points for a 29-18 Bearden lead.

The Lady Bulldogs improve to 11-5 overall A-E falls to 10-7.

McLaughlin scored 12 to lead BHS. Shayla McDaniel added 11, Ellen Smith 10 and Mary-Mc Alexander six.


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