Dobyns-Bennett simply couldn’t match the speed, quickness and length of the impressive Bulldogs, who ran away for a 70-44 win in a Class AAA sectional basketball contest Monday night at Bearden’s gym.
“Every day in practice we get up in each other, and we pressure each other,” said Bearden’s standout guard Ques Glover, who finished with 19 points, three assists and three steals. “We play a 90 mph game and we practice like that, so we play like that every game.”
The Bulldogs (37-1) earned their second straight berth in the state tournament, which begins next week in Murfreesboro.
It was a season-ending loss in an otherwise return-to-prominence year for the Indians (29-8).
In every phase of the game, Bearden seemed to do things with an athletic ease. It was a major adjustment for the Indians, who were victimized for eight first-quarter steals.
“They’re definitely a talented team,” said D-B coach Chris Poore. “And their guards spurred their athleticism. When you turn the ball over and don’t cherish the possession, it turns into points very quickly. They’re very deep and very big, and they made plays the whole night.”
Bearden built a 19-4 lead, and it was softened only slightly by Marae Foreman’s fading, falling 3-pointer off the glass at the first-quarter buzzer to make it 19-7.
D-B had one outburst that gave Bearden pause for thought. The Indians went on an 8-0 run, cutting a 15-point deficit to seven at 26-19 midway through the second quarter.
But the Indians couldn’t sustain the momentum.
“We followed up that little run with two turnovers, which led to a 3 and another 2,” Poore said. “So it was a five-point turnaround that didn’t help us.”
Trent Stephney and Kordell Kah finished off the first half with treys to send Bearden into halftime with a 32-19 advantage.
Roman Robinson started the second half with a trey, and the Indians didn’t make any real second-half noise.
BULLDOGS’ BRIGHT SPOTS
Stephney was a big problem for D-B. He hustled his way to 18 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Robinson chipped in with 13 points, and Shamarcus Brown finished with eight points, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
Glover said the Bulldogs were in no danger of taking the Indians lightly.
“We really wanted to get back to state,” he said. “Going into this game we knew we had to play harder than ever because (the Indians) wanted to end our season.”
INDIANS STEPPING UP
Riamello Wadsworth tried to keep D-B in the hunt, finishing with 17 points. Foreman totaled 13, and it seemed like he had to work hard for every one of his points.
THE END TAKE
“I’m very proud of these guys,” said Poore, who got D-B back on the statewide-relevance map. “Every single game there’s a lot to be proud of. Kingsport supports these guys, and these guys work very hard. There’s a lot to build on moving forward, and I’m very proud of the guys who got us here this year.”