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Big, Bad John

Garrett 4-point play sparks Rebel district championship burst

John Garrett’s 3-pointer and following free throw lit the fuse on a Maryville fourth-quarter eruption on Tuesday. Photos by Chris Ritchie

By Francis Xavier Glynn
Staff Writer
Blount Press Row

A shot falls, a player hits the hardwood, a gym explodes and momentum in the District 4AAA championship game swings toward the Maryville Rebels.

T.J. Kimble puts one in off the break.

Maryville junior guard John Garret hit a 3-pointer, drew the foul and sank the free throw for a four-point play early in the fourth quarter to spark the Rebels to a 60-49 victory over Bearden Tuesday night at Heritage.

The Maryville student section gets into the "winning team" chant.

Maryville hosts Clinton in the opening round of the Region 2AAA on Saturday at James Campbell Gymnasium.

Garrett, the tournament’s most valuable player, paced Maryville with 15 points, none bigger than the four-point play. The shot came after Bearden cut the Maryville lead to four and seemed to have all the momentum heading into the final quarter.

“That is definitely a momentum shift. I think that is really what got us over the hump there,” Garret said. “They were coming back on us and we would edge them out a little bit. It was just a neck and neck game at that point.”

Post man Clark McCall and guard T.J. Kimble followed Garrett into double figures with 13 points each. Sam Greene led Bearden with 16, with junior Isaiah Campbell adding 12.

Bearden came out of halftime down 14 points. Bulldogs started the third quarter with 10 straight points before Maryville was able to respond. Rebel coach Mark Eldridge said he knew the Bulldogs would put together a run to tighten the score.

Maryville coach Mark Eldridge goes over a play with the Rebels durng a timeout.

“Bearden is too good of a team not to make a run, but we are too good of a team not to counter that run,” Eldridge said. “You play good teams, it is a game of runs. It is going to be a 10-2 run or 6-3 run, and we expected them to come out because I’m sure coach Blevins talked to them and encouraged them to come out in the second half and be better and they were.”

Tuesday's championship was Maryville's second consecutive district crown.

The play by Garret was one of the biggest in the game, Eldridge said, allowing the Rebels to regain some of the momentum lost in the third quarter.

“We needed a little momentum and I thought that, going from up four to up eight after the free throw, not only did it stretch the lead but mentally got us back into it,” Eldridge said.

Maryville kept pressure on Bearden and used physical play to build and maintain its lead throughout the contest. The Rebels looked at their play from an earlier loss to Bearden and recognized the need for physicality in order to secure a win, Garrett said.

“Last time we played them we weren’t physical and we got pushed around,” he said. “We watched film yesterday before we went out and practiced and we noticed how we were lethargic and not physical,” Garret said. “We came out an were physical in the first half and held them to 14 points.”

The district crown was the second consecutive for Maryville, an accomplishment the Rebels can be proud of going forward, Eldridge said.

“Tonight was important, but then again tonight is over and we have a big one Saturday night,” he said.


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