Blount Press Row

Smokin’ Joe

Bearden won; Anderson proved player of year selection no fluke

Maryville sophomore Joe Anderson lets fly during a game earlier this season. Photo by Wallace Bowden

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

Lenoir City — Maryville roared to life in a big way to start the second half, but the damage was too great.

Ten first-half turnovers, leading to eight Bearden run-out baskets, had the Rebels staring up at a 17-point deficit to start the third.

A furious charge trimmed the margin to a single point in the closing seconds of the third, but the energy expended locked up Maryville’s shooting legs in the fourth. Final in a highly-anticipated, District 4AAA championship game showdown: Bearden 67, Maryville 58.

The Rebels left the title tilt with a major plus, though. Sophomore guard Joe Anderson took the big stage as the District 4AAA Player of the Year. And Bearden (32-1, 16-0 4AAA) won both regular-season games.

Bulldog sophomore Quez Glover is the truth. Was Anderson worthy of that player of the year selection?

You better believe it.

Anderson finished with a championship-game high 22 points, knocking down six 3s. His ball handling, distribution and defense was crazy good.

(Editor: Check the video.)

Byron Brown and Devon Kimble followed Anderson into double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Emilio Cornelio had seven on the strength of a couple of treys.

After being held to six in an all-Maryville third quarter, Bearden responded with a 22-point fourth to pull clear. Glover and Drew Pember led with 16 each, Roman Robinson and Shamarcus Brown 15 and 10.

It was fun to watch. Hopefully, there is another.

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