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28-point fourth quarter propels BE over BC

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Girls' Basketball

By Mike Farner

  MOUNT WASHINGTON - After scoring just 26 points through the first three quarters and trailing arch-rival Bullitt Central by nine points, the Bullitt East Lady Chargers didn’t appear poised for a big fourth quarter run.

It didn’t get any better when the Lady Cougars scored the first five points of the final frame to take its biggest lead of the night at 40-26.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the end of the game. The Lady Chargers turned up the defensive pressure and then started hitting shots. Lots of shots. In less than five minutes, Bullitt East roared all the way back, moving ahead 44-43 with 2:30 to play.

It was game on from that point.

The lead went back-and-forth from that point. Bullitt East was up 47-45 after two free throws by Emily Fryman, but then Bullitt Central got single free throws on consecutive trips down the floor from Seaera Minyard to tie the score and Bullitt Central was up by two with a minute to play when Selena Yunt connected on two free throws. Bullitt East battled back and tied the game when Fryman drove down the lane to score with 35 seconds remaining.

After Bullitt Central used its final time-out, they got the ball inside to Minyard who scored at :19. Without calling a time-out, Bullitt East rushed the ball up the floor and in the confusion got the ball to Cady Cornell on the right side just outside the three point arc. The junior’s shot deflected off the backboard and fell cleanly through the net with nine seconds remaining.

Bullitt Central had time to get off a final shot, but threw the ball away on the inbounds pass. After Bullitt East called a time-out, they got the ball inbounds to Kylee Willis for a lay-up at the buzzer for a 54-51 victory.

“We have a tendency to go on runs,” veteran Bullitt East head coach Chris Stallings said in his office after the win. “When we do that, then our confidence goes up. We did that against Presentation the other night. It was nice for a young team for things to work out.”

The big basket by Cornell was not a play that Stallings had called or designed. It was just the way the play unfolded.

“We were running our early break,” the coach said. “It is a shot we take out of that. She was open. It was a good shot. I’ve seen her bank it in before, but not in a game.”

Cornell had only two other points in the game.

Bullitt East’s late comeback was fueled by the play of junior Kaleigh Sharpe who came off the bench and scored ten of her team-high 12 points in the fourth quarter. In fact, it was Sharpe who started the rally when she made a basket as she was fouled and then rebounded her missed free throw and scored again. That started an 18-3 run that ended with Sharpe scoring at the 2:30 mark that put the Lady Chargers ahead for the first time in the second half at 44-43.

It was a frustrating loss for Bullitt Central head coach Bryan Bates and his team. The coach was shouldering all the blame for two situations that hurt his team.

The first came during that 5-0 run to start the fourth quarter. At the 7:29 mark, leading scorer Kaitlyn McKnight fouled out. Later, Bates did not have a time-out to call after Minyard’s basket at :19 to set up a better defense.

“We played hard enough to win,” Bates said outside his team’s locker-room,” the coach said. “It was my fault that I had Kaitlyn in the game at that point. I thought she only had three fouls.”

Then at the end?

“I think we were celebrating a little after Seaera got that basket,” Bates added. “We didn’t match up well. If I had a time-out I would have called it there. She (Cornell) was wide open.”

While the game was exciting at the end for the 2,000 fans that packed into the Charger’s gym, the contest had some ugly moments. Mainly from the fact that the two teams combined for 52 fouls which led to 70 foul shots being taken. Bullitt Central turned the ball over 35 times.

Neither team was at full strength. Bullitt East played without senior Nikole Isabel who is still recovering from a summer knee injury. She dressed for the game on Friday, but is still a few weeks away from being ready to take the court.

Bullitt Central played without its top two point guards, sisters Kayla and Courtney Riggs. Their older brother graduated basic training in South Carolina that night and they both made that trip.

“We have half a point guard right now,” Bates said. “Selena (Yunt, normally a wing player) battled as hard as she could. She played on a bad ankle and played almost the entire game.”

The two teams, although not in the same district this season, will battle again on Feb. 13 in Shepherdsville.

Sharpe led Bullitt East with 12 oints while senior Ashley Duvall fifnished with 11. Willis, a freshman, scored nine points.

Playing just the first three quarters, McKnight led all scorers in the game with 22 points. Minyard finished with 13 points.

 

At Bullitt East

BULLITT CENTRAL 51 (10-17-8-16) Seaera Minyard 13, Kaitlyn McKnight 22, Selena Yunt 5, Kristen Collins 3, Kristyn Harned 7, Casey Renfrow 1.

BULLITT EAST 54 (6-11-9-28) Emily Fryman 5, Taylor Blair 3, Courtney Pfister 2, Ashley Duvall 10, Kaleigh Sharpe 12, Carly Coulter 2, Cady Cornell 5, Taylor Blaine 4, Kylee Willis 9, MacKenzie Bass 2.

 

BC Bounces Back

It didn’t take long for Bullitt Central (2-1) shake off the frustration from Friday night as they rolled past Bethlehem 71-56 on Saturday at home.

The game was not nearly as close as the final score, although, there was some irony as Bethlehem scored 28 points in the fourth quarter, the same number of points they had in the first three quarters. This time Bullitt Central had a 58-28 lead heading into the final frame and were never challenged.

The Lady Cougars did have Kayla Riggs back for this game and the junior finished with 13 points. Seaera Minyard led the maroon and gray with 29 points while McKnight tossed in 9 points.

After playing Holy Cross earlier this week, the Lady Cougars will go on the road on Friday to battle North Bullitt. The girls will play the first game starting at 6 p.m.

 

At Bullitt Central

BETHLEHEM 56 (8-10-10-28) O.Alm 14, Monin 17, Zellers 10, A. Alm 2, Hagan 9, Simpson 1, Gribbins 1, Taylor 2.

BULLITT CENTRAL 71 (24-14-20-13) Seaera Minyard 29, Kaitlyn McKnight 9, Tori Boston 3, Selena Yunt 8, Kristen Collins 2, Chasity Hodge 4, Kristyn Harned 3, Kayla Riggs 13.