Boys Varsity Basketball · Bulldogs to start postseason in district semifinal against West

The Bearden boys basketball team just wrapped up a phenomenal regular season finishing with a 24-3 record and going undefeated in District 4-AAA.

This gave them the number one seed in the district tournament and a double bye into the district semifinals against West on Saturday at 6:30.

The Bulldogs are no stranger to competition as they have played Hamilton Heights (Chattanooga) and Catholic, and they competed in and won the Food City Thanksgiving Classic back in November.

While Bearden came up short against Hamilton Heights and Catholic, the Bulldogs put up great showings – leading most of the game against Hamilton Heights and being competitive in their two games against Catholic.

“I am a firm believer that a team’s schedule should mirror its mission,” Coach Jeremy Parrott said. “If a team really wants to know where they are, where their shortcomings are and how to improve, then that team must get tested. 

“There is no other way to prepare for the unknown than to get a team out of its comfort zone from time to time.”

Bearden’s successful regular season also included a 14-0 district record, the first time the team has gone unbeaten in the district since the 2017-2018 season. Regular season success could and should give a team a big confidence boost headed into the postseason. 

“I think our momentum headed into the postseason along with our chemistry will make us a tough team to face off against,” said senior A.J. Pruitt, who was named the District 4-AAA Player of the Year.

Even though the team has had a great season so far, they know it still is going to take good performances night in and night out to make the run they want.

“At this point in the season, it takes a team ‘gelling’ so to speak,” Coach Parrott said. “By that, I mean guys accepting their roles and being confident in them.

“Beyond that, the defensive side of the ball has to show up every night and be able to overcome any bad shooting performances.”

Added Pruitt: “I think it’s going to take maximum effort and supreme focus. We need to continue to play as a team and within our roles to make a long run in the postseason.”

A second trip to Murfreesboro would mean a lot to this senior class who were just sophomores when the team won the state title in 2019.

“It would mean everything for me and my team to make a run for the state title,” Pruitt said. “We deserve to be in Murfreesboro, and no one puts in the work we do.”