Bearden High School’s girls basketball team posted a historic win Friday night, Jan. 20.
The Lady Bulldogs steamrolled rival Farragut 68-39 at FHS’s Lynn E. Sexton Gymnasium in the latest installment of West Knox County’s biggest rivalry.
The victory was Bearden’s 18th consecutive win to open the season and that represented a program record. Bearden won 17 games to start both the 1981 and 1999 campaigns.
“It feels amazing to be on this streak and it feels great to beat Farragut,” said Bearden junior point guard Trinity Lee, who scored a game-high 19 points.
Junior center Grace van Rij was a force on the offensive boards for Bearden (9-0 in district starting the week), turning several rebounds into buckets. She finished with 14 points.
“I love this team,” van Rij said. “This is just amazing. We really didn’t think a lot about the streak coming in.”
Freshman post player Jakhyia Davis finished with eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Jalia Arnwine scored eight points, Shekinah McLaughlin seven and Tytiaira Spikes six.
Farragut fell to 8-10, 3-6 starting the week. “I think they hustled hard, but I think if we would have [had] the same effort and ‘want to’ for the whole game, I think we could have been right there,” said sophomore forward Brooke Christian, who paced FHS with 14 points.
“I think this is a testament to these young ladies and how selfish they are,” Underwood said. “We’ve got a lot of girls that could probably average more points, more rebounds and more individual accolades.
“But they buy into playing to the concepts. It’s a great group of young ladies. They want to do one thing and that’s win.”
Bearden has several returners from last year’s squad that won the District 4-AAA Tournament Title but van Rij has found a home with her new team in West Knoxville.
“We just want to take things one game at a time. We pass the ball well and we share the ball well. I’ve never really been on a team like this. When we pass the ball and share the ball, we’re at our best. We’re just happy to share it and we’re all happy to be here.”
Farragut coach Jason Mayfield was far from happy after his team was routed at home by its biggest rival.
“I think it was a mentality we had going into the game,” Mayfield said. “We talked about pressuring the guards that had the basketball but we didn’t do that. We didn’t execute like we should have.
“We talked about making sure to put a body on people when we rebound and we didn’t do that either. We just didn’t execute defensively.”