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Blevins unhappy with BHS
Lady Dawgs’ rally falls short


With nationally ranked powerhouse Oak Hill Academy (19-2) having a mere 2-2 record in its last four games, there might have been those who thought the Warriors from Virginia were ripe for the upset Thursday, Jan. 27, before a packed house at the Bearden gym.

Lost in the agate of a 90-60 Oak Hill win was Bearden coming off the mat of a first-half deficit, one that reached 22 points at 35-13 late in the second quarter, to cut the margin to 41-34 early in the third quarter.

But Oak Hill is nothing if not resilient, running off and hiding with a 28-12 run spanning the third and fourth quarters.

Though trying to counteract Oak Hill's size, length, shooting ability and defensive pressure is like watching a man trying to plug 11 holes in an oaken bucket with only 10 fingers, BHS head coach Mark Blevins wasn't happy about his team’s two-game stretch (22-2 overall, 10-1 in District 4-AAA entering the week).

Following a lackluster 61-48 district home win versus Lenoir City Jan. 28, Blevins said terming Friday’s effort a letdown “is a cop-out,” adding, “There's no excuses, especially for the lack of effort that we put forth in the Oak Hill game.”


Against the Warriors, “We were just totally, totally intimidated and totally, totally out of our league,” Blevins said.

Meanwhile, Bearden's girls rallied from a 14-point third-quarter deficit but still fell short Friday in a 61-56 home loss to Lenoir City (more on BHS girls later in story).

For highly talented teams, there's always someone, somewhere, who has the ability to make the shot or the defensive play just when it's needed.

In Oak Hill's case, there were a number of “someones.”

Jordan Adams, a 6-foot-5 junior who has collegiate coaches salivating for the Class of 2012, led the way with 27 points — 16 in the second half. He was a load, with Bearden never finding the answer for his play inside or outside.

“Oak Hill is so good and so well-coached, they were just a mountain to climb tonight,” Blevins said after the game. “We started the game off not executing, and against a team as great as they are, you have to do everything correctly, and we didn't.

“We climbed back into it in the third quarter. I don't think we ran out of gas. I just think they pumped it up another notch. They have so many great players. Adams was unbelievable.”

Quinn Cook, a 6-foot-1 senior guard headed for Duke, added 24 points, 10 in the first half and 14 in the second.

Junior forward Damien Wilson, who holds at least 10 major college offers already, added 11.

Bearden fought the good fight, but dug itself into a deep hole in the first half. The Warriors led 7-0, 21-7, 33-13, and settled for a 17-point halftime lead.

Senior wing Rico White and senior point Deon Fair combined for 10 first-half points for BHS.

“We didn't want to let these fans down,” White said of the Bulldogs' third quarter rally. “We played as hard as we could. We had to do something. Those guys are really good.

“I wish we could have executed a lot better,” he added. “When we executed in the third quarter, that's when we started to come back.”

White and junior post Drew Standifer each ended with 12 points.

Senior wing Ty Greene, honored pre-game for passing the 1,000-point mark for his career, added 10.

“They're a very talented team,” Greene said. “They're so long and athletic. When they can keep putting in more people fresh off the bench, it's hard to deal with. ... We're not going to play a team better than that, no matter where we go.”

Bearden came out after intermission and reeled off a 15-5 run that had the crowd on its feet, with renewed hope that the Bulldogs could pull off an improbable comeback.

But the Warriors had the lead back to 14 at 56-42 at the third quarter break and broke the game open at 69-46 with a 13-4 run.

Against LCHS, White led with 16 points followed by Green scoring 15 and Spencer Peake, BHS senior post, adding 11.

Richard Cowan's Lady Bulldogs (8-12, 4-7 entering the week) were led by junior point guard Jai-Jai McLaughlin's 18 points. Lexus Norwood, freshman guard, added 14.

After falling behind 14 in the third quarter, “We went to a more aggressive defense, and with 46 seconds left it was a two-point game and we had a free throw shooter at the line shooting two,” Cowan said.

Though the free throws didn't fall, and the rally died, “We're playing better, we're playing with a little more energy and purpose,” Cowan added. “We're capable of beating anybody that we play.”

Other Bearden scorers were Tyler Carter eight, Mallory Uekman seven and Cozette Gaspard and Erin Walsh four each.

 

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