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BHS boys need ‘total team effort’ to win; Lady Bulldogs still ‘young’

For the last two seasons the Bearden High School boys basketball team has reached the Class AAA state semifinals, while almost winning the state title game last season (35-3).

The Bulldogs have a long road to Murfreesboro this season.

With only one returning starter, “This will be a total team effort this year ... if everyone comes to practice every day, the starting lineup will always be different and everyone will get their chance to pla,” BHS head coach Mark Blevins said.

Bearden’s lone returning letterman is senior center Drew Standifer. Other seniors include Daquan Wright (point guard who missed last season due to knee surgery); Allan Pirie (guard/forward); Isaiah Hicks (guard) and center Davor Saletovic. Key juniors are Sam Greene (guard); Robert Moon (guard); Jordan Wall (forward); Jordan Huddleston (forward) and Brady Smith (forward). Sophomores are guards Isaiah Campbell, Jack Graham and Noah Gettlefinger.

Standifer is the team’s undisputed leader. “We have a lot of young talent and I think these young guys are going to step up and do well,” he said.

The girls team has a new head man in Justin Underwood, who inherits a young squad that went 10-16 in 2010-11. “Of our 11 players, seven of them are freshmen and sophomores,” he said.

Also, “We’re just not very big, so we’re really going to rely on our guards,” Underwood added.

Senior point guard Jai-Jai McLaughlin is one of the KIL’s top shooters — and the team leader. “Since our dynamics have changed, I’ll have to step up and be a leader,” McLaughlin said.

Underwood said McLaughlin is “such a talented player; a calming influence on our younger kids.”

Other key returners include sophomore guard Erin Walsh and senior guard/forward Cozette Gaspard.

Others looking to make an impact include: Kike Dwight (senior, guard); Paige Denton (sophomore, guard); Olivia Pfeifer (freshman, guard/forward); Sue-Yun Kim (freshman, point guard); Lexus Norwood (sophomore, guard); Kolbie Goddard (sophomore, forward); Tyler Carter (sophomore, forward) and Allie Thompson (junior, center).


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