Girls Varsity Basketball · Comeback win propels Lady Bulldogs into region championship game


Bearden beat Campbell County 52-36 in a Region 2-AAA girls semifinal on Monday night, securing a spot in sub-state on Saturday.

Going into the half, Campbell County led 21-19, but the Lady Bulldogs rallied back in the third quarter taking the lead.

“Coming out and getting a couple baskets in that third quarter like that seemed to turn our momentum and get us playing a little bit better,” Coach Justin Underwood said.

Added junior Shekinah McLaughlin: “We just kept in mind that we still got this. We knew we just needed to pick it up and pull it together.”

The Lady Bulldogs knew that their win over Campbell County was essential as they entered in the coming games.

Bearden now plays Oak Ridge on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the region title game. The winner will host a sub-state game on Saturday, and the loser will play its sub-state game on the road.

“I think more than anything it gives them confidence,” Coach Underwood said. “Even being down like we were in the first half, knowing that we’re not out of the game and we can still do what we need to do.”

Coach Underwood has confidence in his players and knows their ability to gain success on the court.

“If we defend in the way we are capable of defending and rebound the way we are capable of rebounding, the offense comes along too,” he said. “If we can do those two or three things, they’re a very difficult group to beat.

“If we can rebound, play defense and share the ball, we’ll be just fine.”

McLaughlin has been nominated as PrepXtra player of the week in recognition of her three free throws that helped Bearden hold on against Powell 37-36 in the region quarterfinals on Friday.

“Going into the rest of the week, we are thinking about taking it one game at a time,” McLaughlin said. “Our solid defense has been really instrumental in getting us to where we are now.”

Visit knoxnews.com to cast your vote for McLaughlin.