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Rebels work the clock to hold off Mountaineers

DSC_0018Maryville’s Andrew Petree makes the dish on Friday at Heritage. Photos by Brandon Shinn

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

There’s no shot clock in high school basketball.

John Garrett signals the play on Friday.

John Garrett signals the play on Friday.

It still takes seven team fouls before an opponent is forced to defend its lead in the closing minutes at the free-throw line.

Maryville coach Mark Eldridge played those two elements to advantage brilliantly Friday night, the Rebels remaining unbeaten in district play with a 42-32 win at Heritage.

The Mountaineers have the state’s fourth-best defense in allowing 43.5 points per game. Baylor is best at 42.9 according to

Accordingly, the Rebels placed only point guard John Garrett in double figures with 17 points, including a trey. Isaac Edmiston had eight, including one huge 3, with Bryce Miller adding six, Dylan Jackson four on a couple of put backs and Tyler Vaught three.

“No. 22 (Garrett) was the MVP of the district last year, and well-deserved,” Mountaineer coach Bill Duncan said. “He was the difference tonight.”

Hunter Bailey powers in a dunk as part of his game-high 20 points.

Hunter Bailey powers in a dunk as part of his game-high 20 points.

Heritage, with a game-high 20 points from Hunter Bailey, was never beyond striking distance on Friday. The Mountaineers (11-10, 1-6) led 13-8 after a quarter, trailed 23-22 at intermission and were back only 37-30 after three on a Garrett closing 3-pointer.

Maryville stands alone atop District 4AAA at 14-4 overall, 7-0 in league play. Bearden (12-6, 5-2), Hardin Valley (10-6, 5-2), Farragut (6-10, 3-3) and West (5-12, 3-4) round out the top five.

With five minutes to play in the fourth, Maryville holding a 40-32 lead, the Rebels didn’t necessarily go into a stall. They weren’t in any hurry to shoot, either.

“We ran that offense some in the first half,” Eldridge said, “but, as the game progresses, it’s a great delaying game.”

Looking only for layups, the Rebels consumed big chunks of time. It had the added effect of limiting the Mountaineers time for only three field goal attempts over the last five minutes.

Heritage finished 3-of-14 from 3-point range.

Petar Bukarica lifts off for a trey.

Petar Bukarica lifts off.

“I knew they’d have to foul us to get us on the line,” Garrett said. “A wide-open layup or a three was all we were looking for, preferably a layup.”

The Mountaineers had only a single team foul with five minutes remaining, virtually negating any possibility of making the Rebels hold onto the lead from the line.

Then again, “I’m sure they didn’t want to put Garrett on the line, either,” Eldridge said.

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