Hagood sets tone for first place Lady Bulldogs


Holly Hagood runs the point during practice, while being guarded by freshman Kendall Clark.

Wyeth Wilson, Staff Writer

She may not be the tallest or strongest player on the team, but Bearden Coach Justin Underwood calls Holly Hagood “the heart of our team”.

Hagood, though, is quick to deflect that praise toward her teammates.

“I think it’s all just teamwork,” Hagood said. “We’ve all played really well together, we work hard at practice, and we continue to push each other every day to do our best.

“I try to do what the coaches say and work hard, but it’s really all teamwork.”

Hagood and the Lady Bulldogs (21-3, 10-0 District 4-AAA) now sit two games clear at the top of the district standings with only four league games remaining.

Although Hagood cites teamwork as the main reason for Bearden’s success, her teammates point to her effort, dedication, and never-quit attitude.

“On the court, she works hard and she’s more of a non-vocal leader,” junior Chanler Geer said. “She pushes everybody by giving her all every single practice, and she never takes a play off.

“And off the court, she’s funny in her own way, and she really knows how to make everyone laugh.”

Added assistant coach Amanda Edsell: “Holly is a player that every coach would want to coach. She hustles all the time even when she’s not asked to. On the floor, she plays hard, and does everything the coaches ask her to do.

“She is always looking to get better.”

Bearden has won its past six games, and Hagood has played a large part in the Lady Bulldogs’ success so far this season. She scored 10 points in a win over West last Friday, and 13 in a win over rival Farragut on Jan. 9.

Hagood will look to continue her hot streak on Friday when Bearden takes on Hardin Valley (13-9, 3-7). Bearden won at Hardin Valley, 66-52 on Dec. 12, behind 20 points from post player Anajae Stephney.

“It will be an important game because we didn’t play very well the first time we played them,” Geer said. “We always want to win as many games as we can in the district and beating any team is nice, but beating Hardin Valley will be good for us in the long run since it is a little bit of a rivalry, and it’s a district game.”

Added Hagood: “Everyone in our district is really good, and we’re all really competitive, so I think [this game] has some extra importance.”

While Hagood has contributed in a major way to the Lady Bulldogs this season, work in the offseason helped Hagood improve several aspects of her game, mainly offensive aggressiveness.

“The difference between Holly in the summer and what we’ve really pushed her to do this season is to look to be more of a scorer,” Coach Edsell said. “Since she is so selfless, sometimes she looks to pass and give her teammates the chance to score.

“But she is quite the threat offensively if she wants to be.”

With her improvement in the offseason, Hagood has become more of a leader on the court for Bearden, and become more of an all around player.

“Holly works harder than any player I have ever played with,” senior Olivia Pfeifer said. “I’m really glad that I’ve had the opportunity to play with her because she’s an unbelievably sweet person and a great teammate.”