Bailey adding new dimension to Bulldogs, as postseason approaches


Bradynn Belcher

Darian Bailey drops in a floater against Farragut earlier this year.

The Bearden boys basketball team has won nine straight games and continues its quest to win District 4-AAAA with a district game against Hardin Valley on Friday night at home. 

Senior forward Darian Bailey has had some big performances over the win streak, but none bigger than his performance against Farragut last Friday night in the game that put Bearden (20-5, 7-1 District 4-AAAA) into a first place tie with the Admirals in the district standings.

In the 54-50 win, the transfer from Central had 17 points and hit a layup with 8 seconds left that gave Bearden a 52-50 lead. Coach Jeremy Parrott said it’s not just been his scoring contributions, but also the energy that Bailey brings to the team.

“Darian is an emotional leader,” Coach Parrott said. “He brings a lot of excitement and passion to our team, and it has been very useful.” 

He has had big nights in wins over Greenville and Hamilton Heights over the win streak. Bailey said that the group they have right now has pushed him into becoming a better basketball player and providing big performances.

“It’s not just my teammates pushing me; it’s also the JV, freshman, and varsity that help to push each other,” Bailey said.

Bailey was expecting these types of long win streaks when he transferred into the program.

“We are winning a lot more, and Bearden has an expectation of winning,” Bailey said.

Bearden won the first matchup against Hardin Valley (13-8, 4-4 District 4-AAAA) 75-51 on Jan. 21.

The Bulldogs’ regular season schedule winds down after the Hardin Valley game. They play their last district game against Heritage on Tuesday before having two non-district games against Ooltewah and Alcoa as tuneups for the postseason.