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Twelve good minutes help Dawgs advance

Although every member of Bearden's No. 1-state-ranked team had a bad night according to the boss, 12 strong minutes in the first half was enough for a criticaltourney win against Karns.

Despite senior point guard Dion Fair's 14 first-half points — which included dazzling assist passes, a pair of three point jumpers, numerous steals and explosive scoring baskets during that dominant 12-minute first-half run —“We were all equally horrible tonight,” BHS head coach Mark Blevins said.

A 22-point halftime lead dwindled to eight late in the fourth quarter while the No. 1-seeded Bulldogs (30-2) faced foul trouble late in the third quarter, resulting in slowing down its attack and switching to a zone defense.

But survive they did, 65-53, in Region 2-AAA Tournament quarterfinal action at BHS Saturday night, Feb. 26.

“We should have lost tonight,” Blevins said, adding about the second half, “Nobody could shoot, nobody could pass, nobody could guard anybody. We shouldn't be tight, we've got seniors. We couldn't hit the one-footers.”

Fair, an All-District 4-AAA point who scored just two points in the second half, said, “I guess we did come out like we were relaxed after halftime, after 39-17. I'm not sure why ’cause we knew we could not play like that in order to advance to the next level.”

In building the 39-17 lead, “I would say the press, it helped a lot,” Fair said. “Then, when we got a couple of people in foul trouble, we had to fall back into the zone and just slow down the game.”

Ty Greene, BHS senior All-District wing who was the brightest light offensively in the second half with 12 points, ended with a team-high 17.

By late in the third quarter, senior All-District wing Rico White picked up his fourth foul while Greene and Spencer Peake, Dawgs senior post, each had three fouls. All survived to the end.

Peake, along with White and Drew Standifer, finished with nine points. “I think it was just a combination of us not starting off well, and then we got a little frustrated,” Peake said.

In the second half, “They kinda sat back in that zone, and we thought, since they were down, they'd come out and get up into us a little bit more,” he added. “That confused us a little bit. And they started hitting some shots.”

D'Andre Harris, Karns wing, was the only Beaver offensive threat in the first half with BHS's smothering man-to-man defense controlling the game.

While Bearden was forced into a zone defense due to foul trouble in the fourth quarter, however, Harris and KHS responded.

Harris nailed a handful of three-point baskets in the second half, helping Karns close to within eight points in the final two minutes, and scored 16 of his game-high 24 after the break.

Freshman guard Devin Sibley scored 14 of his 18 points after halftime for the No. 4-seeded Beavers (18-12).

“They shot lights out, especially when we had to go to the zone because Ty had [three] fouls and Rico had four fouls,” Blevins said.

Bearden trailed 6-5 midway into the first quarter before taking over the half’s final 12 minutes.

Saying his team lacked early intensity, “After we saw we had a formidable opponent, we kicked it in gear,” Blevins said.

Though saying Fair “had a decent night,” Blevins noted his senior star point had six turnovers. But Fair's six assists could have been 16 had teammates converted his nifty passes, both fast break and half court, into baskets instead of missing easy shots or mishandling the ball.

Other BHS scorers were Will Winton four and Jordan Wall one.


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