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Bearden’s boys rule in Upper East Tennessee; girls fall at home


When Bearden's Lady Bulldogs (0-2 in the pre-season) left the floor at halftime of Thursday’s TSSAA Pre-Season Hall of Fame Game against Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett trailing 25-23, after being behind as much as seven points, there was hope that the momentum would carry over into the second half.

Sometimes that happens.

Sometimes it doesn't.

Bearden’s Nov. 18 home game was a clear case of experience being the winning edge.

The first few minutes of the third period are always critical, and D-B, starting five seniors, took control with an 11-2 run over the first 5:22 of the third period and rolled to a 50-32 win.

“We're trying to get down to the base of who can play for us,” BHS head coach Richard Cowan said. “We don't shoot the ball particularly well right now. We have to find some people who can do that, defend, and give us the energy we need.


“We're struggling trying to find that mixture of kids,” he added. “We learned a few things about some of our kids, some positive, some negative.”

The Lady Indians, thought to be one of the better teams in Upper East Tennessee, were lead by Hillary Gray's 20 points, 14 of which came after intermission.

D-B led 15-11 after one period, but Jai-Jai McLaughlin and Priscilla Craig had seven and six points, respectively, to keep the Lady Bulldogs within hailing distance.

McLaughlin led Bearden in scoring with 14 points.

“Our defensive intensity was consistent,” McLaughlin said about the Lady Bulldogs' first-half effort. “We need to be prepared. It's a matter of experience.

“The continuity with people who have played together since their freshman year is a lot stronger. Continuity makes a great difference.”

Craig said her team “lost some of the fire and intensity. We backed off on offense and quit driving as much. We have to keep working it inside. We really learned from it.”

Bearden would score but one point in the fourth quarter, struggling mightily against the increased D-B defensive pressure.

 

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