The Bulldogs were led once again by two of the best guards of the tournament as Trent Stephney had 29 points and Ques Glover had 24.
The trash-talking duo got rolling late in the second quarter and never looked back.
“Getting in the zone like that is a great feeling and all the hard work is paying off,” Glover said. “We can almost read each other’s minds.”
The Bulldogs got the game at the pace they wanted it to be near the end of the first half when Glover went on a flurry of 13 points and put Bearden up 49-36 at half. That included a 31-point second quarter.
Shemarcus Brown had 12 and Tyler Nordin netted 10 as well for Bearden.
The Bulldogs shot an eye-popping 57.8 percent from the field and had only eight turnovers the entire game.
“The frustrating part about this season is that we went to Mississippi and didn’t have Roman (Robinson) or Shemarcus. Drew (Pember) could only play limited minutes and there were two of our losses this season,” Bearden head coach Jeremy Parrott said. “In the other game that we lost, Kordell Kah got kicked out with two technicals four minutes in. We have not had a practice or a game this year where we have not had at least one person missing. God is teaching me patience or something.”
The Eagles got in a bit of foul trouble late in the half when Jordan Meka picked up his third and Stanley Eze picked up his fourth on a backcourt foul with his substitute at the table ready to come in.
Mount Bethel’s offense was never the same once Eze went to sit.
Meka finished with 23 and Coleman Boyd had 18 to lead the Eagles. Jayce Harrison had 13 as well.
“I made a mistake in the first half with the wrong person guarding Glover. He got going and scored 22,” Mount Bethel head coach Cal Boyd said. “I put a young guy on him that I thought could stay with him and he wasn’t ready for that. In the second half, we had the right guy on him, but (Stephney) going. They’re a tough duo to guard for sure.”
The Eagles also gave up a season high in points to the Bulldogs.
Bearden will play Wenonah (Ala.) in the second semifinal matchup on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m.
Mount Bethel will move into the fifth-place bracket and will face Orem (Utah) at 1:30 p.m.
Buford (Ga.) 55, Cardinal Newman (S.C) 44
In a high energy game that featured tons of athleticism on both sides, the Wolves advanced to Saturday night’s semifinals with a tough win.
Oklahoma State commit Marcus Watson was the difference for Buford as his blend of speed, athleticism and bounce was a little too much for the Cardinals. He finished with 26 points. Donell Nixton provided the outside weaponry for Buford, finishing with 17 and nailing five 3-pointers.
It looked like midway through the fourth quarter that Cardinal Newman — trailing 47-41 — was building momentum after Johnson missed a slam dunk, but the Cardinals had series of four turnovers that plagued them.
The Cardinals were led by Chico Carter, Jr. with 15 and Josh Beadle with 11.
The Wolves will face Carmel Christian (N.C.) in the first semifinal matchup at 7 p.m.
Cardinal Newman will play Trinity (Ky.) in the fifth-place bracket and that matchup will be at noon.
Carmel Christian (N.C.) 55, Trinity (Ky.) 49
Trinity controlled tempo and led much of the evening, but in the end Carmel Christian simply had too much game as the Cougars posted a six-point quarterfinal victory.
Carmel defended particularly well after intermission, limiting the Shamrocks to six buckets on 18 shot attempts and forcing 12 of Trinity's 18 turnovers.
During the third period, Trinity came up empty on 10 straight possessions.
Donovan Gregory totaled 15 points (9 in fourth quarter), DeAngelo Epps 14 and Jake Boggs 12 — Boggs made three two-handed slams — to lead the Cougars.
For Trinity, it was Stan Turnier with 17 points and Ethan Hodge scoring 16. Turner nailed five 3-pointers.
Wenonah (Ala.) 63, Orem (Utah) 53
The Dragons of Wenonah broke free of a tight game by dominating the fourth quarter, claiming a win over Orem in Friday's fourth quarterfinal.
The game was literally even at 44 through three quarters after Orem's Taft Mitchell hit a halfcourt heave to end the period, but Wenonah's superior length made the difference down the stretch.
Cameron Tucker led the winners from Birmingham with 20 points, while teammate Jayden Sanders hit four 3-pointers to contribute 14. Justin Minter backed both with a 12-point night.
Mitchell scored 15 points on his birthday to share team-high honors with Carter Nehmer. Ike Richards tossed in a dozen for the Golden Tigers.
Morristown East 74, Tennessee High 59
Guard play was the major difference for Morristown East in the win over the Vikings.
Senior and 1,500-points scorer Conner Jordan led the Hurricanes with 29 points while his counterpart, Cameron Rymer, finished with 23.
Freshman post Braden Ilic also had double figures, finishing with 13 points.
The Hurricanes were on from the outside, shooting 7 for 14 from the 3-point line.
The Vikings were led by Christian Webb with 14 points while Nolan Wishon and McHale Bright each had 10.
Tennessee High outrebounded Morristown East 32-27, but shot just 35 percent. The Hurricanes torched the nets, shooting an eye-popping 60.4 percent.
Morristown East will take on Dobyns-Bennett on Saturday at 9 a.m.
Tennessee High is eliminated.
Sullivan East 69, Tabernacle Baptist 57
The Patriots’ constant pressure got to the Falcons as Sullivan East advanced in the losers’ bracket. A balanced attack, led by Dustin Bartley with 20 points and Adam Davison netting 17, along with forcing 20 turnovers put the Patriots over the top.
Tabernacle got 21 points from Romad Dean and 12 from Joshua Dames. Dean also had 10 rebounds for a double-double.
The Patriots will play Gate City for a spot in the sixth-place game Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Tabernacle will get a rematch with Union on Monday in the consolation game.
Gate City, Va. 71, Greeneville 58
The Blue Devils advanced in the losers’ bracket behind a 43-point, 11-rebound output courtesy of Zac Ervin. He has scored 80 points through two Arby’s games.
The Greene Devils had a huge offensive rebounding edge (23-12), but could not convert nearly as many second chance points. Greeneville also went just 5-for-30 from 3-point land.
Reid Satterfield had 14 points to lead Greeneville while Tyler Marsh had 12.
The Blue Devils were able to get to the charity stripe 27 times and knock down 19 free throws. Bradley Dean was able to exploit his matchup to the fullest, finishing with 21 and 10 rebounds.