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MOUNT WASHINGTON - There is girls’ basketball and then there is women’s basketball.
Fans on Friday night actually got to see both for one admission as the Bullitt East Lady Chargers rolled past North Bullitt 84-33.
The outcome was not much different than three weeks earlier when Bullitt East won at North Bullitt 69-22.
Bullitt East, the state’s 15th-ranked team, is just that much better than the Lady Eagles this season. Not only are they just a better team, but they are older and much more physically mature than the youthful team that first-year head coach Amber Courtney puts on the floor.
“We’re just outmanned,” Courtney said after the loss. “They are really that good.
“That is why they are ranked where they are ranked and picked to be the regional champion,” the coach added. “You don’t get there by accident. They are very much more physically mature than us. They are stronger. They just make better decisions. They know where to get the basketball.”
The win gave Bullitt East an unblemished mark in the district seeding standings at 4-0.
Despite the lopsided score in the first meeting, Bullitt East head coach Chris Stallings didn’t want his team thinking that a victory would be handed to them. He was happy that his squad took care of the chore in a business-like fashion.
“I never said we knew we would win,” Stallings said in his office after the game. “That’s not how we go about things. We just wanted to be ready to play.”
While the program had celebrated Senior Night four nights earlier, this was the final home game for the team’s five seniors. Because of that, Stallings put all five on the court to start the game. That is not the normal rotation for the team and it took a few moments for the red and gold to find their rhythm.
Still, Bullitt East jumped out top 10-0 fueled by three point plays by Jessica Philpott and Jade Troutman. North Bullitt then answered with back-to-back three-pointers by Holly White and Macenzie Ellis that helped the Lady Eagles stay within 15-8 after one quarter.
North Bullitt even made it closer when Reba Stice scored the first basket of the second quarter, but that was the end of the line for the Lady Eagles. Bullitt East scored the next 27 points, coasting into halftime with a 42-10 advantage.
Eight different players scored for the Lady Chargers during the big run including a pair of three-pointers from Nikole Isabel and another from Troutman. Bullitt East also got a three point play from senior Kayla Thacker who saw her first extended action in over two weeks before of a sore back.
The second half was no better as Stallings cleared his bench and still the margin continued to grow. Bullitt East was up 65-17 after three quarters before North Bullitt almost doubled their scoring output in the fourth quarter over the first three quarters, mostly on a pair of three-pointers from White.
Still, when Ellis, White and Meri Brian fouled out in the fourth quarter, North Bullitt was forced to play the final few seconds of the game with just four players on the court. Courtney had two players out with minor injuries or illness and she opted not to change her roster for this game.
“I think my kids played well in spurts,” Courtney said. “They went on that run in the second quarter and it was a hole we couldn’t get out of.”
Bullitt East is now 22-3 for the season with one game left in the regular season. The Lady Chargers will try to avenge one of those three losses when they travel into Jefferson County on Friday to take on Sacred Heart, the last team to beat them in a 35-28 setback in the Louisville Invitational Tournament.
“Like I told them a few weeks ago, it’s amazing how far you can go when nobody cares who gets the credit,” Stallings concluded. “We have a lot of girls contributing and that’s great.”
Bullitt East was led by Isabel with 16 points while Troutman finished with 13. Samantha Johnson tossed in 12 points while Philpott came off the bench and scored 11 points. The red and gold also got nine rebounds and nine assists from Shelby Romine along with nine rebounds from Meredith Polson.
White led North Bullitt (6-13) with nine points while no other Lady Eagles scored more than six points.
At Bullitt East
NORTH BULLITT 33 (8-2-7-16) Bre Kuffner 6, Katie Downey 4, Holly White 9, Macenzie Ellis 6, Shelby Morrison 2, Meri Brian 4, Reba Stice 2.
BULLITT EAST 84 (15-27-23-19) Taylor Price 2, Jessica Philpott 11, Ashley Duvall 4, Nikole Isabel 16, Shelby Romine 8, Jade Troutman 13, Kayla Thacker 5, Meredith Polson 5, Lindey Young 5, Jackie Stevens 3, Samantha Johnson 12.
Lady Eagles Win Big
A night after the loss to Bullitt East, North Bullitt took out its frustration on visiting Evangel as the Lady Eagles exploded for their biggest offensive performance of the season as they rolled to a 92-32 victory.
North Bullitt’s two seniors had big games on Senior Night as Kuffner scored 26 points including four three-pointers while Meri Brian finished with 19 points. The Lady Eagles also got 17 points from eighth-grader Savannah Morrison along with ten points each from Stice and White.
The Lady Eagles did have nine players available at the start of this game and all nine players got into the scorebook.
At North Bullitt
EVANGEL 32 (11-11-3-7) Pierson 16, James 9, Sellinger 7.
NORTH BULLITT 92 (19-19-22-32) Bre Kuffner 26, Katie Downey 2, Holly White 10, Macenzie Ellis 1, Shelby Morrison 2, Savannah Morrison 17, Meri Brian 19, Reba Stice 10, Taylor McCoy 6.