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Bulldogs blister Bobcats

Bearden’s Drew Standifer, 32, goes for a block of Central’s DeMonte Patterson, 5, in Region 2-AAA play at the Dawg Pound Tuesday, March 1.- Dan Barile/farragutpress
A quick start, some exceptional ball movement in the open court, and a suffocating defensive effort told the tale for tonight’s Region 2-AAA semifinal contest against Central. The final was 79-47.

A near-capacity crowd at the Bearden gym Tuesday, March 1, saw the Bulldogs (31-2) run out to a 22-6 lead after the first period and never look back. A 13-5 run at the outset of the third quarter expanded the lead to 51-26, and that was that. Central had no answer for the Bulldogs’ defensive intensity and ball movement and finished the season 26-7.

“At times, we really, really looked awesome on the fast break in the first half,” BHS head coach Mark Blevins said. “It’s hard to wear down Central, but, as quick as they are, it seemed we were a lot quicker.

“Central is the best defensive team in the area, and I said we had to be the best defensive team tonight, and I thought we were.”

Rico White and Ty Greene led the way with 17 points each, White getting 15 in the first half and Greene adding 10 in the second.

“We had a good feel for what they were going to do,” Greene said. “Coach put us in a great defense to give them some problems. I just tried to attack the rim. When you attack the rim, good things are going to happen.”

White said the goal was “to get the ball out and push the tempo.

“We don’t want to set up the offense if we don’t have to. We just want to get out for the easy layups. One of the keys to the game was not letting them get penetration.

“We want to win this next game and have the substate at home.”

Drew Standifer, a man on the backboards all night, added 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Deon Fair, who ran the show from the point with pizzaz and great moxie, added 9. Spencer Peake and Will Winton “played big,” Blevins said.

“Drew Standifer was at another level tonight. He played like that last week, too.”

The game was tied 2-2, before Bearden ran off an 11-2 spurt that caused a Bobcat timeout at the 4:58 mark. Just over three minutes later, it was 19-6.

The Bulldogs upped the lead to 36-10 at the 4:41 mark of the second quarter, before the Bobcats ran off an 11-2 run that closed the margin to 17.

Bearden came out firing in the third quarter and expanded the lead. It was 51-29 at the third quarter break. And the Bulldogs kept the pedal to the medal, outscoring the Bobcats 26-18 in the fourth stanza.

With West winning tonight at Oak Ridge, the regional finals come to the Bearden gym at 7 p.m., Thursday night March 5.

It is the fifth meeting between the West Knoxville rivals (BHS 3-1 edge).


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