Boys Varsity Basketball · Bearden’s historic season comes to an end in state semifinal

Bearden basketball’s successful, record breaking season came to an end Friday when the Bulldogs lost to a talented Memphis East team in the state semifinals.

Memphis East (30-3), who won Saturday’s championship game, was ranked first in Tennessee and ranked sixth nationally.

The Mustangs are also coached by former NBA All-Star Penny Hardaway, and their roster includes junior James Wiseman, who is ranked by ESPN as the best player in his graduating class, along with four players standing taller than 6-foot-8.

Despite Memphis East being such a strong team, Bearden was able to lead for a large portion of the game. East went on a late game run and ended up winning the game 72-60.

Although the Bulldogs came just short of winning a state title, this still will go down as one of the most successful seasons in school history.

The 2017-18 Bearden team broke the school record for wins in a season, winning 38. Bearden’s only two losses were to the Mississippi state champion, Columbus, and the Tennessee state champion, Memphis East.

The Bulldogs were District 4-AAA regular season and tournament champions, and Region 2-AAA tournament champions.

Having such a successful season, junior center Drew Pember wouldn’t want it any other way.

“Everything was a highlight,” Pember said. “I wouldn’t change anything that happened.”

Pember was a leader on and off the court this season, and he is keeping his goals for the team next season simple.

“Get a ring,” Pember said. “And compete for nothing less than that.”

The Bulldogs have proven that they are capable of competing for a state championship, and they believe they have no reason not to bring home a state championship next season.

“We can compete with the best of the best, and we’ll come back stronger than ever,” Pember said.