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The Bearden Blitz

Lady Bulldogs open hot, hold off Heritage rally for big district win

Heritage sophomore Kassi Knight gets set at the free-throw line on Tuesday. Photos by Hobe Brunson

By Francis Glynn
Staff Writer
Blount Press Row

A poor start to the first half combined with hot 3-point shooting by Bearden cost the Heritage Lady Mountaineers Tuesday night.

Leah Thomas works the no-look on a drive Tuesday night.

Heritage lost, 57-48, to the Lady Bulldogs in the District 4AAA matchup as Bearden built an early lead and forced the Lady Mountaineers to play from behind for the majority of the first half.

The Lady Bulldogs (15-4, 8-1) finished the game with 11 3-pointers made.

“We controlled the game, the tempo, but we couldn’t score,” Heritage coach Rick Howard said. “We missed our first 10 shots, I think. Against a good team like that and you miss shots like that, you are not going to do very well.”

Sophomore post Kassi Knight led the Lady Mountaineers (14-7, 5-5) with a game-high 20 points and provided a strong post presence. Every time Heritage fought back into the game, Knight found the basketball in her hands.

“She is a scorer. She finds a way to score,” Howard said. “When we need a bucket, we try to go to her, Jordan, or Leah. The last few games she (Knight) has lit it up pretty good.”

Team District Overall
Farragut 9-1 20-2
Bearden 8-1 16-4
Maryville 6-4 9-9
Heritage 5-5 14-7
William Blount 5-5 11-13
Lenoir City 4-5 13-8
Catholic 1-9 7-12
West 0-8 3-13

Kathryn Pryor puts up a jumper.

The size of both Knight and teammate Kathryn Pryor, coupled with the slashing ability of guard Leah Thomas, put Bearden in foul trouble throughout the contest. Heritage hit 18 of 21 free throws, using the strong foul shooting to keep pace with the Lady Bulldogs.

Bearden led, 29-23, at the half.

“We try and stay close, keep contact, try and contest all shots and only give them one shot,” Bearden coach Justin Underwood said. “We didn’t do a great job of that, but, I think, at the end when it mattered, we were able to get a few more rebounds than we gave up.”

Junior guard Erin Walsh led the Lady Bulldogs with 18 points along with dishing out several assists. Walsh took advantage of Bearden’s early success from the 3-point line to create open looks for both herself and teammates

“They play the triangle and two,” Walsh said. “That (the 3) is what is going to be open for our shooters.”

Heritage cut the lead to four early in the fourth quarter. During a timeout, Underwood said he told the Lady Bulldogs to hold onto the ball and keep their composure.

“We shoot the ball pretty well from the free-throw line, so we just have to be able to be calm and in control, be able to take care of the basketball and limit them to one shot on the other end,” he said, “and I thought they did a good job of that to finish out.”




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