The Bearden boys basketball team had an eventful winter break.
They faced top competition from across the southeast and beyond – they beat one team from the Bahamas – in winning the Arby’s Classic tournament after last year’s third place finish. The team’s success at the Arby’s Classic was huge for the team’s confidence going forward into the season.
“It’s really big for us because going into that tournament, we lost last year, so we already had a chip on our shoulder,” senior Ques Glover said. “So being able to win it has given us a lot of confidence to finish out the year.”
Coach Jeremy Parrott emphasized the importance of the Arby’s tournament for the team’s mentality.
“It ranks in the top five tournaments in the southeast and top 10 to 20 in the country,” Coach Parrott said. “So to go and compete with teams from all over the nation and to be fortunate enough to win it was huge for us.”
Along with winning the Arby’s Classic, the Bulldogs faced some of the best teams in the country over winter break, including defending NACA National Champs Hamilton Heights.
Competing with such high competition allowed the Bulldogs to learn some valuable lessons that they can take forward with them as they prepare for the postseason.
“Our motto this year is ‘humble and hungry,’ and it was really important for us to be humbled a little bit over the break so we can come back and be hungry for the end of the year,” senior forward Kordell Kah said.
Glover reiterated Kah’s thoughts on the lessons learned over break and the preparation they need to make a run in the postseason.
“We really have a lot of work to do,” Glover said. “So, getting back into the gym with the team and continuing to work hard and get all the kinks out and get everybody healthy so we can make a run.”
Bearden (16-5, 9-1 District 4-AAA) had a commanding win against William Blount (12-10, 4-6) 96-71 this Tuesday. The Bulldogs’ next game is at East Hamilton (14-4) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. before returning to league play next week.
Coach Parrott knows that the challenges the team faces early in the season will be the foundation for the end of the season.
“I feel like by constantly being pushed and stretched like we were in the first half of the season it can only help us as we go forward,” Coach Parrott said.
Winter break brought great accomplishments and humbling losses; both will result in a stronger team that is ready to make a name for themselves in the postseason.