When Bearden faced Maryville in December, a late 3-pointer lifted the Rebels to an upset win.
A last second shot wouldn’t have made a difference Tuesday night, as the Bulldogs rolled to a dominant 72-49 win over their district rival.
The last time these two teams met, Bearden was missing key players due to injury and early game ejection. Now with a full team, Bearden was able to win big.
The game was close through two quarters, and Bearden went into halftime leading 30-22. At the beginning of the third quarter, a one-handed dunk from senior Drew Pember – who missed the first meeting of the two teams – sparked a run for the team, and the Bulldogs were able to go into the fourth leading 55-35.
Ques Glover led the way with 20 points, and Trent Stephney added 15. But Pember also chipped in 13 points as he continues to become a bigger part of Bearden’s offense.
A key to Bearden’s victory over Maryville was their defense, limiting junior Joe Anderson to just 11 points. Anderson has been a scoring machine for Maryville, averaging 20 points per game this season.
Coach Jeremy Parrott took a different approach than most coaches would take to shutting down Anderson; he asked his tallest player to guard him.
Standing at 6-foot-10, Pember has 10 inches on Anderson, and he was able to use his height and length to block Anderson’s shots.
“I just tried to use my length to my advantage when guarding, and it happened to work out,” Pember said. “It was a team defensive effort tonight, not just me.
“It takes five people to guard, not one.”
Bearden was able to avenge their early season loss and will now be able to shift their focus to the final district game of the regular season on Friday at Farragut.
“The first game was pretty rough and that has been stuck with us ever since,” Pember said. “[Winning against Maryville] is a big stepping stone for us but we still have another district game to focus on.
“I’m just proud of everyone overall.”