Williams, Farragut end Bearden’s season in district tourney

Aidan Sears

As the Admirals raised Blake Williams on their shoulders after Thursday night’s game, the Bulldogs were forced to face the premature end to their season. Farragut defeated Bearden 57-56 in the second round of the District 4-AAA tournament behind Williams’s 31 points, clinching a berth in the region tournament. The win ended Bearden’s season and the Bulldogs’ 13-game winning streak against their rivals. “They played good,” senior Allan Pirie said. “When a kid shoots like that, there’s not much you can do. “They played better than us, I guess.” The task of guarding Williams was split between Pirie and junior Sam Greene. Although both players played tight defense throughout the game, the Farragut star was able to shoot over defenders, scoring 15 of his points off of 3-pointers. The Bulldogs were helped by the return of senior center Drew Standifer, who had missed the past three games, including a Feb. 3 overtime win over the Admirals, with a sprained left ankle. Standifer scored all eight of his points in the second half. “My ankle felt fine,” Standifer said. “I didn’t feel any pain on ankle, so I don’t think it affected my game at all.” Sophomore Jack Graham, along with Pirie, led the Bulldogs in scoring with 10. Graham scored the team’s first seven points of the fourth quarter, cutting the Admirals’ lead to 50-49. Junior Brady Smith then gave the Bulldogs a 54-52 lead with 3:55 left in the fourth quarter with a fast break and-one dunk. Standifer added two points to the lead, but Williams scored the next five points to give the Admirals the lead that they would hold for the rest of the game. The loss marks the last game of Standifer’s illustrious high school career. Despite falling short this year’s postseason in comparison to the previous years’ teams, Standifer cherishes his time with the team, the good and the bad. “My senior year, losing (last year’s seniors), it was a different set of new people I got to meet,” Standifer said. “It was a fun year, but not fun losing at the end here.” Although the Bulldogs will lose a strong senior class that includes Standifer, Pirie, and Daquan Wright, big plays from sophomores and juniors like Graham and Smith provide them with a positive outlook heading into the offseason. “Jack is going to be a good player, a really good player,” Standifer said. “Because he’s got a great shot. And Brady’s going to be a really good player, too.” And although the team is disappointed to see their season end earlier than they had hoped, the players are still proud of their season and their team. “I have had a wonderful experience,” junior Robert Moon said. “The team took me in, and they’re just a bunch of awesome guys.” Farragut will play Maryville on Friday in the district semifinals. The Rebels beat the Admirals twice this year, 53-48 on Jan. 10, and then 59-50 on Jan. 27. Aidan Sears is a staff writer for The Bark. Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK, and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook.