Hoops titans showdown goes to Irish; Lady Dawgs stop Ensworth streak

KNOXVILLE — B.J. Edwards has a knack for stepping up when his team needs him most, and he did that again earlier this week.

Edwards, a junior guard and Mr. Basketball Finalist statewide, scored 22 of his game-high 34 points after halftime to help the Knoxville Catholic High School boys basketball team nab a 61-51 non-region victory over Bearden High School in a battle of Knoxville Area hoops heavyweights Monday night, Feb. 15, at BHS.

“That’s just what he does,” Catholic head coach Mike Hutchens said of Edwards, named Most Valuable Player of the 2020 Division II-AA state tourney after leading the Irish to the program’s first hoops state title. “He was really feeling it tonight.”

“This was a tight game against a good team and my teammates did a good job getting me the ball,” Edwards said. “I needed to take over the game for us to get a win.”

“I think he made winning plays,” Bearden head coach Jeremy Parrott said. “But he’s their best player and that’s what he’s supposed to do.”

It was the second victory over the Bulldogs (24-3) this season for the Irish (19-3), winning 60-48 at KCHS in December.

This game featured two teams ranked second in Tennessee in their respective classifications: the Bulldogs in Division I-AAA and the Irish in Division II-AA.

Bearden clung to a 29-26 edge at halftime. It was 15-15 after one quarter.

But after the break, the Irish cranked up their defense. Catholic surrendered just six points in the third stanza.

KCHS also got 12 points from guard Blue Cain. Elijah Bredwood led the Bulldogs with 13 points. Walker Kyle added 11.

BHS girls shock Ensworth

One of the nation’s longest high school winning steaks was snapped in Nashville Saturday, Feb. 6.

The Bearden Lady Bulldogs went to Music City and toppled Ensworth 47-39, snapping the two-time defending Division II-AA state champs’ 60-game winning streak.

“We wanted a measuring stick.” said BHS head coach Justin Underwood, whose team was 24-1 by week’s end. “I thought we showed resilience and played great defense.”

Jennifer Sullivan, a Bearden junior wing, scored 22 points — 17 in the second half. Senior Zneyah McLaughlin added 10. Emily Gonzalez contributed nine and Avery Treadwell six.