Heritage had a strong shooting night — on the trips up the court that led to shot attempts.
On too many possessions, however, a full-court press from the Bearden led to turnovers, which doomed Heritage to a 55-48 loss Friday evening on the Lady Mountaineers’ home court.
The Lady Mountaineers (13-7, 3-6 District 4-AAA) finished at 50 percent from beyond the arc, with Kayla Romines hitting six of the 10 Heritage 3-pointers.
Bearden (17-2, 7-2) countered with several steals and a bundle of other turnovers, including 10 in the second quarter.
“You’ve got to handle the ball, that’s all there is to it,” Heritage coach Rick Howard told The Daily Times. “They (Bearden) are very athletic, and one of the best teams in the area. I think we handled the ball a lot better in the second half than the first. We had 14 turnovers in the first and just nine in the second.”
Heritage started well with good balance as four of five starters scored in the opening minutes to push out to a 17-12 lead after one period.
Bearden began the second quarter with a full-court press and scored eight unanswered points before the Lady Mountaineers got up a shot.
Heritage crawled out of that hole to pull even 26-26 at the half thanks to 3-pointers from Romines (18 points) and Lexi Patty (13 point).
Bearden went on a 12-0 run to start the third period, with seven of that dozen scored from hard-charging Zneya McLoughlin. The speedy wing hit a three then two free throws and a putback before the Lady Mountaineers had attempted a shot.
Trailing 41-33 entering the final period, Heritage once again fought back. Buckets by Kaitlin Burger and Patty led to Romine’s second triple with just under six minutes to play. That stretch briefly pulled the Lady Mountaineers into a 44-43 lead.
Bearden came back with its strong inside game led by post Jakhyia Davis, who paced all scoring with 21 points.
After Bearden reclaimed the lead on a putback by Tatiana Spikes, Davis made a swift double-fake move in the paint for an old-fashioned three-point play to push the lead back to 50-46.
Heritage lost further chances with two turnovers and an offensive foul on three straight possessions, and the Lady Bulldogs held on for the 55-48 win.
“Our kids are working their tails off and we’re playing every one of these teams close,” Howard said. “We’re close, we’re just not knocking the door down yet. Maybe that will happen at tournament time.”
Bearden (15-5, 7-2) jumped out to leads of 33-8 after one period and 63-16 at the half.
After winter homecoming festivities were completed, the only reason to hang around was to see if the Bulldogs would hit the century mark.
Bearden coaches called off the dogs, literally, with liberal substitutions from the second quarter on and instructing their players to hold the ball without shooting after reaching 99 points with about 90 seconds left to play. The game had a running clock in the fourth quarter.
Heritage was led by Peyton Burnette and Jacob Powell, who each tallied 11 points.
All 12 players on the Bearden roster scored, with five in double figures. Coming off the bench, Izaiah Bredwood led all scorers with 15 points.
Six different Bulldogs totaled 11 3-pointers and three of them had dunks.
The 99 points bests the previous high for the season, 88 in the prior matchup against the Mountaineers. The Bulldogs have busted 80 seven times this season.