KNOXVILLE — Since he arrived at Bearden High School three years ago, boys basketball head coach Jeremy Parrott has made it no secret that his Bulldogs are supposed to be playing in the Class AAA State Tournament in Murfreesboro during Spring Break.
Bearden (29-5) once again punched its ticket to the midstate with a 46-40 victory versus Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett Monday night, March 4, before a packed and spirited house at Bearden.
“I’m more relieved than anything,” Parrott said after his savvy squad overcame a pair of one-point second-half deficits to win this Section 1-AAA contest and advance to Murfreesboro next week.
The Indians (30-5) were upset by Sevier County in the Region 1-AAA Tournament title game Saturday, March 2, and they came to West Knoxville for a second consecutive year seeking to pull an upset of their own.
And Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett nearly reached its goal, as head coach Chris Poore employed a slowdown offense that brought the game to a near standstill multiple times.
But that was no shock for the Bulldogs.
“We knew it was coming,” said senior guard Ques Glover, who scored 19 points to lead Bearden’s offensive attack. “We played their game and they made us uncomfortable.
“But in the fourth quarter we made it uncomfortable just like they made us uncomfortable early,” he added.
Bearden changed up its defense and went to a zone press early in the fourth quarter. That tactic sped up the game and forced the Indians into eight fourth-quarter turnovers. “We did enough. We survived it and we advanced and that’s what it’s about at this point,” Parrott said.
Trent Stephney scored 10 points for the Bulldogs.