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D-B basketball team nearly beat the champs

Douglas Fritz • Mar 18, 2019 at 5:17 PM

When Knox Bearden surprisingly whipped Memphis East to win the Class AAA state basketball title Saturday, it put a focus on how close Dobyns-Bennett was to a historic season.

Bearden got a tremendous double-crush effort from guards Jacques Glover and Trent Stephney in the Bulldogs’ 83-68 win over East in Murfreesboro. The duo combined for 46 points, seven assists and three steals.

Yes, Bearden was loaded this season. It was no fluke the Bulldogs won both the Arby’s Classic and TSSAA state titles. But Dobyns-Bennett was only a handful of plays away from beating Bearden on its home court in the sectional. The Indians led midway through the fourth quarter, and the outcome was in doubt even in the final minutes. Bearden eventually won, 46-40.

“I’m proud of our guys for what they were able to accomplish this year as a team, and for our seniors and what they accomplished in their careers,” said D-B head coach Chris Poore, whose team finished with a record of 30-5. “Seeing Bearden win the title doesn’t make me feel any different about our team and our guys, but it is exciting for our program to know that we competed to the very end with the best team in the state.”

Whether D-B could have gone to Murfreesboro and dispatched two Memphis teams — Bearden beat Whitehaven in the semifinals — is left for debate. But the Indians know they were close, and perhaps the 74-year chase for a second state title has an endgame in the not-too-distant future.

FARRAGUT IN THE WAY

Any Class AAA baseball team from Northeast Tennessee with designs on reaching the state tournament may once again have to contend with a loaded Knox Farragut team.

How loaded? According to Prep Baseball Report, the Admirals can field a starting lineup of commitments — plus a reserve — including a stunning seven potentially headed to Division I.

East Tennessee State has commitments from shortstop Ashton King and pitchers Owen Kovacs and Landon Smiddy. Middle Tennessee State has a commitment from catcher Ryan McCarthy while Vanderbilt has third baseman Parker Noland on its list. In the junior class, pitchers Ryan Hagenow (Kentucky) and Drew Patterson (Tennessee) are committed.

Farragut is 4-0 on the season.

LADY ’BLAZERS FINISH SECOND

Daniel Boone posted a record of 5-2, finishing runner-up in the Mary Vowell softball tournament in Franklin over the weekend.

The Lady Trailblazers defeated Alliance, Brentwood, Creek Wood, Dobyns-Bennett and Lincoln. Boone lost to Lincoln in pool play before beating it in the semifinals.

In the title game, Creek Wood topped Boone 9-8 in extra innings. Boone’s Brylee Mesusan was 3 for 3 with two RBIs and three stolen bases in that game. Makenna Dietz went 2 for 2 with a two-run homer.

METCALF SOCCER

The 2019 Jon Metcalf tournament will be held this weekend at the Eastman Fields.

Six teams will participate: Dobyns-Bennett, University High, Sullivan Central, David Crockett, Strawberry Plains Carter and Jefferson County. Games will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday with two games each set for Saturday, at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Indian-Highland Park will be used as a backup plan if the Eastman Fields aren’t ready to go because of the recent flooding.

Baseball games of the week

TUESDAY

Unicoi County at Sullivan East

Unaka at Sullivan North

MONDAY, MARCH 25

Happy Valley at Elizabethton

North Greene at Unaka

Unicoi County gets a chance to improve its Three Rivers Conference stature. …

Unaka will have a good idea where it stands in the Watauga Valley Conference after finishing a pair of key league series. …

Happy Valley takes on its biggest league challenge.

Baseball rankings

There’s a good shakeup for this week’s High School Top 10. Teams are jockeying for position in the early season.

Team W-L Prv
1. Tennessee High 5-1 1
2. Dobyns-Bennett 4-2 3
3. Science Hill 3-3 2
4. Elizabethton 3-2 4
5. Daniel Boone 3-2 5
6. Sullivan East 1-2 6
7. Unicoi County 1-1 NR
8. Sullivan South 3-3 7
9. University High 4-1 8
10. David Crockett 1-3 9

Softball games of the week

TUESDAY

Tennessee High at David Crockett

North Greene at Cloudland

WEDNESDAY

Science Hill at Unicoi County

THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY

East Tennessee Classic at Science Hill

Is Tennessee High’s quick start for real? The answer could come against the Lady Pioneers. …

Is Cloudland ready to push the Lady Huskies aside in the Watauga Valley Conference title chase? …

Unicoi County usually gets a good measuring stick with its traditional early season battle with the Lady Hilltoppers. …

There is plenty of local flavor in the East Tennessee Classic.

Softball rankings

It was a stable week, with a few changes toward the bottom part of the rankings.

Team W-L Prv
1. Daniel Boone 6-2 1
2. David Crockett 1-1 2
3. Science Hill 3-1 3
4. Sullivan East 4-0 4
5. Unicoi County 2-0 5
6. Elizabethton 2-2 6
7. Dobyns-Bennett 1-2 7
8. Tennessee High 3-0 9
9. Unaka 3-0 10
10. Sullivan South 2-1 NR

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