The atmosphere was intense.
The crowd was hyped as the undefeated district rivals took the court for the first of many future meetings this season.
Knoxville Bearden vs. Knoxville West and the game lived up to the hype for sure.
Carson Brooks (Knoxville West) scored 24 points and helped lead the Rebels past previously unblemished Bearden 67-66 in a hotly contested game at the Bulldogs home this Friday night.
A relatively close game throughout ended 31 to 26 at the half with both teams feeling each other out.
West behind sterling play from Brooks and Phillip Stanford (Knoxville West) surged ahead but Bearden got a few quick buckets from seniors Rico White (Bearden) and Ty Greene (Bearden) to knot things up after three quarters of play at 47.
West took charge with Stanford draining another three and sophomore Blake Golden (Knoxville West) netting one of his own before a crowd pleasing smash from Brooks gave the Rebels what appeared to be an insurmountable lead.
Not so fast my friends, Bearden got some timely scoring from White, Greene and Drew Standifer (Bearden) to close within three late before fouling senior Otis Littlejohn (Knoxville West) with under 5 ticks remaining.
Littlejohn missed the first shot but drained the second; Bearden nailed an uncontested three on their end to make the final 67-66.
Brooks was huge with 24 points, while Stanford added 14 in the win. Golden added 9 points and junior Calvin Walker (Knoxville West) finished with 8 as did senior JuJuan Williams (Knoxville West) while keeping the Rebels unbeaten on the young season.
White led the Bulldogs with 21 points followed closely by Standifer with 13 and Greene with 12. Dion Fair (Bearden) finished with 11 points.
These teams will meet once again at West in the regular season and could be matched up again after Christmas at the Super 16 event at Bearden.