Bearden ended Maryville’s 20 game winning streak and won its seventh straight on Monday with a 41-34 victory in the District 4-AAA tournament final.
The tournament MVP was ETSU signee Jakhyia Davis, and she was joined on the all-tournament team by Avery Treadwell, Emily Gonzalez, Zneyah McLaughlin, and Jah’niya Bussell.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game, but when you have two teams that are really good offensively and defensively, it makes for a game like that,” head coach Justin Underwood said.
The Lady Bulldogs now turn their attention to their first elimination game of the season when they host Halls on Friday night at 7 in a Region 2-AAA quarterfinal game. If they win, they’ll play the winner of Powell and Farragut next week.
Against the Lady Rebels, Bearden set up a halfcourt press defense to start the second quarter which really threw off Maryville and District 4-AAA player of the year Denae Fritz.
“Our press can get our guards going,” Coach Underwood said. “It’s something that just gives us more versatility defensively.”
The win allowed Bearden to avenge its loss to Maryville in January – one of only two losses the Lady Bulldogs have all year – but Coach Underwood recognized that his team still has much to improve on as it heads deeper into the postseason.
“We missed three front ends of one-and-ones which is the equivalent of 6 points in the last 2 minutes,” Coach Underwood said. “We’ve got to do a better job that when we get free points like that, we’ve got to take advantage. They shoot it well; they just have to calm down and knock it down.”
“They [Halls] are a solid opponent, can shoot it really well,” Coach Underwood continued. “Macy Kirby is a 1,000 point scorer. They aren’t very big but are pretty fundamentally sound.”
Halls (13-14) upset Campbell County on Feb. 19 in order to qualify for the region tournament.
“They are a team that’s playing better basketball than their record shows right now,” Coach Underwood said.