Still perfect BHS girls again beat Lady Ads

KNOXVILLE — Against arch-rival Farragut High School Friday night at home, Bearden’s girls basketball team built an eight-point lead at the end of one, then slowly added more.

The result was a never-in-doubt 55-40 win Jan. 27 that kept the Lady Bulldogs a perfect 24-0 for the season, 7-0 in District 4-4A, entering the week. Farragut fell to 16-9, 4-3.

The BHS win was more pedestrian than pretty: each team committed numerous turnovers.

“Definitely not the prettiest of games,” said Justin Underwood, BHS head coach. “A lot of turnovers, a lot of fouls, a lot of free throws. ... I thought our defense was really good tonight.”

“I just feel like we didn’t execute offensively,” Jason Mayfield, Lady Admirals head coach, said. “We didn’t do a good job defensively in the first half. We don’t give ourselves much of a chance when we turn the ball over that much.”

BHS freshman guard Natalya Hodge led all scorers with 22. Avery Treadwell, BHS senior post, added 13. Junior wing Rachael Wilhoit had 10.

“We played really hard and had a good focus on defense, and they just couldn’t score much on us,” Treadwell said.

Senior wing Maelyn McNealy scored 14 for FHS, while younger sister, freshman wing KJ McNealy, added 10. Sophomore guard Annie Priest had 10. “We had too many turnovers and weren’t attacking them like we should have,” Maelyn said.

Bearden scored the first five — and final four — points of the first quarter and led 19-11 after one.

The Lady Dawgs scored the first four points of the second, but Farragut matched them with a pair of lay-ups to stay within eight. Bearden then finished the period on a 7-2 run and led 30-17 at the half.

The teams essentially traded baskets in the third quarter. When Lady Admirals’ senior guard Maelyn McNealy made a layup with 4:16 left, it cut Bearden’s lead to 12, 35-23. Farragut would get no closer. The third ended 41-28.

The lead ballooned all the way to 20, 53-33, in the fourth when Treadwell made a free throw with 3:07 left in the game. The Lady Admirals scored seven of the game’s final nine points.