Bearden escaped with a 46-40 win over Dobyns-Bennett on Monday night to advance to its third straight state tournament.
The game started out slow, with the score at the half being 20-14 with Bearden on top, but Dobyns-Bennett started the second half strong. The Indians went on a run and were able to limit Bearden to only four third-quarter points.
With their season on the line, Coach Jeremy Parrott and the Bulldogs had to do something in order to change the momentum of the game. Senior Trent Stephney credits a dunk from senior Drew Pember for sparking a fourth-quarter run that ultimately led to a win.
“We just went on a roll after that [dunk],” Stephney said. “They started turning the ball over, we started scoring, we started getting up, and won the game.”
Senior Ques Glover led the way in scoring with 19. Stephney added 10.
Going into the game, Stephney and the rest of the team knew they would have to shut down Dobyns-Bennett guard Marae Foreman in order to win.
“He’s a very good player; we’ve watched a lot of film on him,” Stephney said. “He showed us that he’s one of the best players.”
Now that they have advanced to the state tournament, the Bulldogs will now look to their first-round opponent. Drawings for the state tournament bracket will take place Tuesday night, and Bearden will find out its first-round matchup.
The other teams in the field are Sevier County, Cleveland, Murfreesboro, Oakland, Brentwood, Franklin, Whitehaven, and Memphis East, who knocked Bearden out in the semifinals last year and went on to win state.