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SHEPHERDSVILLE - It was a perfect way to end the regular season for one Bullitt Central team but it was another night of frustration for another.
Bullitt Central entertained the Valley Vikings to close out the regular season and to celebrate Homecoming.
Bryan Bates’ Lady Cougars jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in an 80-21 victory.
“It’s a feel good game,” Bates said of his 19-7 squad, which will go into the district tournament as the second seed. “It’s a good game to end the regular season on.”
Bates got to play everyone on this special evening.
He was pleased to see Janie Baumgardner get off to a fast shooting start en route to a 15-point performance.
“This should give her a lot of confidence,” Bates said of Baumgardner.
Baumgardner scored the first five points of the contest and it was all Bullitt Central.
Between hitting five treys and getting free on numerous fast breaks, Valley would trail 32-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The lead would expand to 47-12 at intermission and Bates played everyone on the bench as 10 hit the scoring column. In her last home game as a Lady Cougar, Lindsay Hester led the way with 18 points.
At Bullitt Central
BULLITT CENTRAL 80 (32-15-15-18) Lindsay Hester 18, Qualeatha Bennett 17, Janie Baumgardner 15, Kaitlyn McKnight 11, Keoka Hillard 4, Ashleigh Pollard 4, Danielle Biven 4, Valerie Terry 3, Logan Wood 2, Seaera Minyard 2.
VALLEY 21 (7-8-3-3) Thompson 6, Harris 4, McClain 3, O’Coner 3, Edwards 2, Washington 1, Cross 1, Woods 1
Turnovers hurt Cougars
As bad as it may have seemed, Bullitt Central was in familiar territory Friday night - in a close contest with a chance to win.
However, as has happened in the past few games, turnovers at key times prevented the Cougars from overcoming the opponent.
On Friday, Valley held off the Cougars 71-64.
Playing its up-tempo style, Bullitt Central led just once on a T.J. Flener three-pointer for a 47-44 lead with 2:28 left in the third quarter.
The visitors went on a 14-0 run to end the period and start the final quarter.
Down by 11, Flener hit a pair of three-pointers followed by a trey from Jesse Vittitoe as the lead was still seven points.
Thanks to some missed free throws by Valley, Bullitt Central was still alive with 21 seconds left as Caleb Craddock hit a pair from the charity line.
A pair of late turnovers sealed the fate for the Cougars, who played North Bullitt in the first round of district play on Monday with the winner advancing to tonight’s game against top-seeded Southern.
“We still making bad decisions,” said head coach Joe Pat Lee. “It’s frustrating to be so close.”
He said the players are still working very hard.
“They’re playing their butts off,” said Lee. “We did a lot of the things we wanted. But you can’t win with 27 turnovers.”
“We’ve been knocking on the door,” said Lee.
At Bullitt Central
VALLEY 71 (20-20-16-15) Simmson 21, Bell 3, Mullins 13, Boyd 6, Kilgore 2, Curry 5, Thomas 14, Brewer 7.
BULLITT CENTRAL 63 (18-17-12-17) Jesse Vittitoe 11, T.J. Flener 24, Caleb Craddock 5, Jason Creason 5, Jeremaie Bennett 10, Damon Shepherd 5, Miciah Ocasio 4.