Trent Stephney, the Bearden senior guard, developed a reliable mid-range game simply because he was a bit too timid a few years back to shoot the 3 and drive the lane.
“I was a freshman. I was skinny, and there were bigger players,” he recalled Friday night. “I thought, ‘Maybe if I can learn to shoot a mid-range (jumper), I can score more points for my team.'”
Stephney showed off that mid-range jumper a handful of times Friday night in a 95-65 win over Hardin Valley, leading the Bulldogs (21-5, 13-1) in scoring with 23 points — 15 of which came in the first half.
And every time HVA made a modest run early in the second half, Stephney was there with a 16- or 17-footer.
But more than that facet of his game, Stephney showed off his all-around game against the Hawks — his newfound 3-point prowess, his ability to run the floor, facilitate the offense, distribute the ball and defend.
He provides the perfect backcourt complement to highly sought-after point guard Ques Glover, who scored 21 Friday.
And that duo, along with forward Drew Pember, will be looking to avenge their lone District 4-AAA loss on Tuesday when Maryville (24-1, 14-0) visits West Knoxville. Maryville won the first meeting, 61-60, on Dec. 14.
Check out the game highlights and interview with Stephney and Bearden coach Jeremy Parrott below, as they discuss Stephney’s game and the upcoming showdown with Maryville.