Lady Bulldogs head out-of-state again this weekend after successful trip to Tampa last month


Sarah Altshuler

Senior Emily Gonzalez goes up for a layup against Ooltewah.

The Bearden girls basketball team will continue its high-profile, across-the-map schedule this weekend when the Lady Bulldogs travel to Charlotte to play Trinity Collegiate (S.C.) on Saturday in the She Got Game Classic.

MaxPreps lists Trinity Collegiate (15-0) as the top-ranked team in South Carolina, but Bearden now has plenty of experience against the nation’s best after their trip to the Tampa Bay Christmas Classic.

During that tournament, the Lady Bulldogs beat Montverde Academy, who was ranked No. 3 in the nation at the time. Senior Emily Gonzalez scored 31 points and hit a game-tying three with three seconds left to send the game to overtime, and senior Jenn Sullivan also added 24 points in the 83-79 win.

The Lady Bulldogs overcame a 10-0 deficit at the start of the game and rallied to force overtime. 

“No matter how this season ends, this is going to be a memory that they can hold onto for the rest of their lives,” Coach Justin Underwood said. 

The Lady Bulldogs ended the tournament going 1-2 including taking Lake Highland Prep – then ranked No. 9 in the nation – to double overtime and a 65-60 loss to St. Thomas Aquinas.

Gonzalez, a Carson Newman signee, said that the win over Montverde Academy has helped give the team a boost of confidence for the rest of the season.

“The win gave us some confidence and just proved to us that we can hang with whoever we want to,” Gonzalez said. “We know that if we play as a team and do our job we can do whatever.”

Since the tournament, the Lady Bulldogs are 2-0 with wins over Greeneville (ranked No. 7 in the state) and William Blount. Bearden (16-3, 2-0 District 4-AAAA) returns to league play at Maryville on Monday, a game that was rescheduled after last week’s inclement weather.