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Dawg Day defense
Bearden comes to FHS, leaves with hoops sweep

The first chapter of the 2012 Bearden-Farragut basketball rivalry was a sweep for the Bulldogs.

The Bearden boys defeated the Admirals 61-39 while the Lady Bulldogs nabbed a 37-29 victory over the host Lady Admirals Friday night before a packed house in Farragut High School’s Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium.

In the boys’ game, the Bulldogs used a second-quarter surge to put the Admirals away.

The two rivals played an even first quarter. The Dawgs and Ads were tied at 8 before Bearden used a 29-13 second-quarter run to blow things open.

“We had the tempo where we wanted it in the first quarter,” said Farragut head coach Chris Cool after watching his squad fall to 9-9 overall and 3-3 in District 4-AAA. “Then, in the second quarter, we rushed things.

“We missed shots and Bearden’s defense has to get the credit for that because they rushed us.”

From there, the Bulldogs would cruise as the squad’s two starting seniors took control of the contest.

Center Drew Standifer scored 10 of his game-high 26 points in the second stanza and point guard Daquan Wright scored five of his eight points in the frame for the Bulldogs (13-5, 5-1).

Bearden struggled early this season but now, the Bulldogs appear to have found their stride, according to Standifer, Bearden’s most potent and consistent offensive weapon.

“We feel really good,” Standifer said. “The younger players are stepping up. We’re starting to come together. [With] them stepping up, it’s helping us play together.

“We’re getting good shots and playing good defense.”

Blake Williams paced Farragut with 22 points while Demarcus Martin had 10. Williams scored 15 of the Admirals’ 18 second-half points.

Meanwhile, in the girls’ contest, Bearden stifled Farragut’s offense after halftime to earn a hard-fought win.

The Lady Admirals (15-4 overall, 4-2 in District) scored just six points after the break and Bearden freshman Olivia Pfeifer scored all eight of her points in the third stanza and provided the spark the Lady Bulldogs (13-2, 5-0) needed to end a long dry spell against the Lady Admirals.

“This feels awesome,” said Pfeifer, who buried a pair of 3-pointers during Bearden’s huge third quarter. “The team did a really good job getting me open.”

Bearden enjoyed a slight upper hand and headed into the second quarter with a 13-12 advantage. Farragut bounced back to take a 23-22 lead by first half’s end.

After that, Farragut fell victim to an offensive power outage as Bearden turned up the defensive heat.

“We were really happy with the girls’ defensive intensity in the second half,” Lady Bulldogs first-year head coach Justin Underwood said. “They did a good job executing our defensive principles.

“Some of our girls came in not knowing what this feels like. They’d only beaten them in middle school if at all.

Bearden, as usual, featured a balanced attack. Senior point guard Jai-Jai McLaughlin led the way with 13 points.

Lexus Norwood added 10 for the Lady Dawgs, who opened the third quarter with an 9-0 run to take a 31-23 lead midway through the third quarter.

Anna Brinson and Katie Overton each scored nine points for the Lady Ads.


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