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Bearden wins ‘NBA-paced’ A-E battle; BHS girls romp

It was all Bearden against Austin-East Friday night, Dec. 3, with both the boys and girls teams prevailing in impressive fashion in front of a near-capacity crowd at the Bearden gym.

The Bearden girls team won 57-14, running out to a 15-2 first quarter lead and never looking back.

The Bulldogs boys raced to a 94-74 win that featured an NBA pace and state tournament intensity.


The Lady Bulldogs (3-2 entering the week) broke from an early 2-2 deadlock to score the game's next 22 points.

It was 32-9 at the half, and things never got better for the Lady Roadrunners, who trailed 49-14 after three quarters and didn't score at all in the final stanza.

“We got to play everybody,” BHS head coach Richard Cowan said. “That helps morale. We have a few injured kids back so we can get them back and get them into our lineup.

“We have a really difficult schedule the next two weeks,” Cowan added. “We worked on our inside game because we've been shooting the ball a lot from the outside.”

Carolyn Hill and Tyler Carter led the way with 11 points each, with Lexus Norwood adding 10.

“I learned a lot about our team,” Hill said. “We were really aggressive and take pride in our defense. ... We need to move the ball more and get into our offense.”

Jai-Jai McLaughlin, junior point guard who scored nine points, kept her foot on the pedal defensively against the turnover-plagued A-E girls.

“We have a very good defensive team,” Norwood said. “We weren't surprised about the team overall, but we were happy about our shot selection. We played the way we wanted to play.”

BHS BOYS 94 A-E 74

Bearden had led by as much as 10 points in the second quarter, before Austin-East closed the gap to six at 38-32.

From 38-32, Bearden scored the game's next 14 points, capped by Dion Fair's three-pointer at the buzzer. It was trademark Bearden basketball, with the pace turning frenetic and Bearden taking advantage of every opportunity.

“Unlike the Fulton game where we had no legs, we had the legs tonight,” BHS head coach Mark Blevins said. “I think we out-enduranced them. ... We got the lead and were able to extend it several times. “

It was a 31-15 second quarter that moved the Bulldogs ahead. Rico White and Fair combined for 23 points in the first half to set the pace. “You know they're going to pressure you, get after you,” White said. “A game like this helps get you ready. I just keep playing. Sometimes the press gets going, and we turn it up.”

It was 52-32 at the half, and school was out, as five Bulldogs scored in double figures: Spencer Peake 22, White and Fair scored 18 each, Ty Greene 15 and Drew Standifer 10.

“It was a really physical game, but it was fast-paced, too,” Peake said. “It gave us the opportunity to get some boards and get out on the break. ... We can definitely play better in the second half. Games like this definitely help get us ready.”

Bearden had no answer for Austin-East's Brandon Lopez, who had a game-high 43 points.


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