Knoxville (WATE) – With a record regular season in the books, the Bearden Lady Bulldogs know their mission is far from over.
“To break a school record for wins, we’re excited about that.” head coach Justin Underwood admitted. “It’s an awesome accomplishment. But we also know we’re turning the page now to playoff basketball, and you gotta win now. That’s what matters most.”
When asked about their success this year, teammates fell back on their trust in one another.
“We’re like a family,” senior post player Isabel Soldner said.
“We couldn’t have done it without having a relationship off the court,” senior guard Jalia Arnwine added.
It took a late January last second loss to Hardin Valley to prevent Bearden from their first undefeated regular season in program history, but they’ll settle for 24-1, especially if they get the big prize.
“I would love to have a championship my senior year,” Arnwine said.
The Lady Bulldogs are two years removed from their trip to Murfreesboro, when they lost to Oakland in the State Semifinals. They have yet to appear in a State Championship game. This appears to be a team with a chance to get there. But Bearden is aware it’ll take a whole lot more than their impressive regular season to get them where they want to be.
“It’s very cliche,” Underwood said. “But every night we’ve got to come ready to play, and if we do that, I like our chances.”
“Fight, gut, everything that we’ve got,” Arnwine said. “All the tears. The sweat. It has to go into this game.”
UPDATE: Bearden lost to Maryville in the AAA District Semifinals Friday afternoon 56-49. Their finish as a top four team in the District means they’ll play February 24th in the region playoffs.