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BHS boys once again ‘Super’ during holidays

Bearden High School boys basketball head coach Mark Blevins couldn’t hide his happiness after his squad’s big victory Thursday, Dec. 29.

“We’re tickled to death,” Blevins said after the Bulldogs outlasted Montgomery Bell Academy 59-52 to win the Bearden Super 16, the longest running holiday tourney in East Tennessee. “We just got our 11th win and coming into the season, we weren’t sure that we would reach double figures in wins.

“We take pride in winning every game and we take pride in winning this tournament. This year, we had two teams that will probably compete to win the state tournament in Stone Memorial and Montgomery Bell.”

The Big Red, which dropped to 8-3 with the loss to the host Dawgs in the 30th annual Super 16, may compete for a state title in March but had its offensive struggles against Bearden.

Montgomery Bell fell behind 11-6 early and never led in the contest, but the Big Red hit some clutch shots to keep things interesting before a sparsely populated and unusually quiet house at BHS. MBA did battle back to tie the game at 11 by first quarter’s end.

The Bulldogs (11-5) were able to open a 24-21 advantage by halftime as Sam Greene hit a long-range 2-point basket at the second-quarter buzzer.

The host Dawgs were hot early in the third stanza and expanded their lead to 34-25 when Jack Graham buried a 3-pointer with 4:38 remaining in the frame.

The Big Red, however, wouldn’t go away. After a time-out, Kamani Hodges hit consecutive transition lay-ups to pull MBA to within 34-29. The Big Red and Bulldogs went on to play an even third stanza with Bearden clinging to a slim 42-39 edge.

The Bulldogs then opened the final stanza with a 10-3 surge and extended their lead to 52-42 on a basket by senior point guard Daquan Wright with 4 minutes, 4 seconds remaining in the contest. Montgomery Bell then held the Bulldogs scoreless for the next two minutes. Meanwhile, the Big Red trimmed its deficit to 52-46 with 2:27 left.

From there, Bearden was able to put the game away as tournament Most Valuable Player Drew Standifer converted an inside basket and Allan Pirie had a successful 3-point play to make it 57-46 with 1:20 remaining.

“This was a big win for us because we just won the championship game of the tournament and I think it helps us get ready for the district,” said Standifer, who scored 23 in the championship game. The Bulldogs senior center scored 68 points in Bearden’s tournament wins over MBA, Christian Academy of Knoxville and Jefferson County.

Wright, who scored 10 points against the Big Red, also was named all-tournament.


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