Late Bearden push edges FHS 54-50

Friday night, Jan. 28, at Farragut High School, the FHS Admirals and Bearden resumed their fierce rivalry — this time the rematch featured boys basketball.

The Bulldogs were looking not only to avenge the overtime loss they suffered at home Dec. 3, but also to pull even with Farragut in District 4-4A.

Round two looked to be equally dramatic. And to put it mildly, the game didn’t disappoint.

Behind for more than three quarters, Bearden put on a furious fourth-quarter rally, pulling ahead at the 5:42 mark then hanging on for a 54-50 win. The Bulldogs are now 18-5 overall, 5-1 in the District.

“Good game,” Bulldogs head coach Jeremy Parrott said. “You come on the road against a team that shoots the basketball real well, guards real well … you gotta make shots. We didn’t do that early so we changed the defense, the tempo of the game. We told our kids ‘possession by possession.’”

“Good game with two really good basketball teams,” Admirals head coach Jon Higgins said. “We battled tooth and nail, we just didn’t finish it at the end. Hopefully we can learn from it and be ready next time.”

Farragut ran out to an 8-0 lead to open the game, but Bearden clawed back to trail by only three, 13-10, at the end of one.

The Admirals (17-6, 6-1) opened the second quarter even stronger — 10 straight points, seven by Dillon Atwell — to lead 23-10 with 4:37 left in the period. But a 9-4 Bulldogs stretch left Farragut up 27-19 at the half.

The Admirals still led by seven after three periods, 42-35.

But senior Darian Bailey’s layup with 20 seconds left in the quarter was the first of 13 straight points by Bearden. When Walker Kyle drained a three with 4:41 left in the game, the Bulldogs led 46-42.

Kyle’s lay-up with 50 seconds left gave Bearden a 50-47 lead. On the ensuing possession, Farragut’s Isaiah Smith drained a game-tying three with 22 seconds left. Another overtime game seemed possible.

But Bailey’s layup with seven seconds left made it 52-50. Farragut’s in-bound pass went out of bounds, giving Bearden the final possession. Kyle’s lay-up at the buzzer led to the final score.

Bailey led all scorers with 17. Kyle got 14; Hayden Moseley added 13. Atwell was high for Farragut with 16. Dallas Carbaugh scored 12 and Ryan Neal got 11.

“I had a whole lot of revenge on my mind,” Bailey said. “I wanted to win this one without a doubt.”

“I thought we played pretty good most of the game,” Atwell said. “We just didn’t close it out. They played better than we did. We just weren’t able to execute.”