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HEBRON ESTATES – For only the second time over the past 33 years, Bullitt East and North Bullitt will meet just one time on the basketball court during the regular season.
That actually worked out just fine for North Bullitt.
Despite playing at home, the Eagles and Lady Eagles were no match for their county rivals on Friday, dropping a pair of games before the largest crowd of the season to watch the green and gold.
In the opening girls’ game on Friday, Bullitt East bolted to a 15-5 lead in the first quarter and had doubled the score on their rivals by halftime at 34-16. The Lady Chargers never let the margin slip below 18 points in the second half as they posted a 67-38 victory.
The nightcap was over quickly as the Bullitt East Chargers, ranked number one in Kentucky in several polls, put on a show for the fans as they blitzed North Bullitt 66-20. The powerful Chargers led 30-1 after one quarter and 56-7 at halftime. With the big lead, the clock ran continuously in the second half.
Lady Chargers Roll
This was the first meeting between Bullitt East and North Bullitt since last season’s Sixth Region Tournament opener when the Lady Chargers picked up a win in the first meeting ever between two Bullitt County teams in a basketball regional tournament.
The two teams came in with a number of similarities this season, but Bullitt East never let the Lady Eagles get on a roll in this one. Both teams are ranked among the top five teams in the Sixth Region this season and they could easily meet again at some point in the post-season.
Other than a high number of fouls, Bullitt East put together one of its best performances of the season in rolling to this win. After the game was tied at 2-2, the visitors went on a 10-2 run to break the game open.
“I thought both teams played hard,” veteran Bullitt East head coach Chris Stallings said after his team’s 19th win of the season. “We knew going in that North is having a solid season. I thought we played a little better tonight.”
Bullitt East used all 13 players that dressed for the contest in the first half, something that Stallings has been doing in most games over the second half of the season. The final stats had 12 of the 13 players scoring at least one basket. That makes the high number of fouls a mute concern.
“I never worry about it a lot,” Stallings said. “I don’t mind. It was kind of one-sided in the second half. They are going to call it the way they will and we’re going to play our way.”
At times even in the middle of the first quarter, Stallings had inserted all three of his eighth-graders into the game with strong results.
One of those eighth-graders, Lindsey Duvall, led all scorers in the game with 18 points. In fact, she was the only player in the game to reach double-digits. Bullitt East also got eight points each from Courtney Pfister and Kylee Willis.
North Bullitt got nine points from senior Kasey McCoy and seven from Caitlin Montgomery, but no other Lady Eagle scored more than five points.
North Bullitt’s leading scorer this season, junior Savannah Morrison, scored just four points and had none in the first half after picking up two quick fouls and sitting out the rest of the half.
The Lady Eagles shot the ball poorly, finishing with just seven two-point baskets and a pair of three-pointers for the entire game.
“We just couldn’t get the ball in the basket,” North Bullitt head coach Amber Courtney said. “We broke the press at times, but then couldn’t convert the shots.”
Both teams will close out the regular season this week.
Bullitt East will be at home on Friday to take on Sacred Heart in a contest that will be homecoming as the school tries for a third time to get that event conducted.
North Bullitt has a home game against North Oldham on Wednesday and then closes out the season on Friday against Spencer County.
At North Bullitt
BULLITT EAST 67 (15-19-13-20) Emily Fryman 6, Courtney Pfister 8, Lindsey Duvall 18, Kaligh Sharpe 2, Alyssa Peak 6, Cady Cornell 4, Taylor Williamson 3, Talor Blain 5, Mackenzie Bass 4, Kylee Willis 8, Raegan Williams 2, Sara Stevens 2.
NORTH BULLITT 38 (5-11-10-12) Savannah Morrison 4, Katie Downey 3, Reba Stice 1, Kasey McCoy 9, Caitlin Montgomery 7, Erin Dolan 2, Rachel Badgett 5, Maria George 5, Bre Stewart 2.
North Bullitt head coach Brian Courtney is only in his second season at the held of the Eagles, but he felt he could speak for the program’s complete history after his team was bombarded by Bullitt East 66-20 on Friday.
“That’s the best team that North Bullitt has ever played,” the coach said as he sat in a corner of his office after the game. “Bullitt East plays the game at a different level than everyone else.”
The Bullitt East fans realize that. Just 30 seconds into the contest and the score at 2-0, they had the traditional end of game chant ‘this one’s over’ going strong.
They were not far from wrong. Bullitt East was up 16-0 just four minutes into the game and North Bullitt’s only point of the first quarter came on a free throw by Lucas Johnson at the 3:25 mark. The Chargers scored 14 straight points to end the quarter with the scoreboard showing a 30-1 score.
It was 38-1 before the Eagles got their first basket of the game with 4:42 remaining in the half. By halftime the score had expanded to 56-7.
Many in the large crowd returned to their seats for the second half, but Bullitt East head coach Troy Barr kept Derek Willis, Rusty Troutman, Trey Rakes and Elliott Young on the bench as the game quickly came to a merciful finish.
Rusty Troutman, Rakes and Young each finished with 12 points in less than 12 minutes of court time. Willis finished with nine points but in less than half a game blocked six shots.
This week is the final week of the regular season for Kentucky high school teams. Bullitt East played Bullitt Central on Tuesday and they will close out the season on Thursday with a game at Elizabethtown.
North Bullitt will play at home on Friday against Spencer County.
At North Bullitt
BULLITT EAST 66 (30-26-9-1) Tyler Sharpe 3, Trey Rakes 12, Zach Allen 2, Rusty Troutman 12, Rhett Troutman 4, Elliott Young 12, Chris Embry 2, Derek Willis 8, Ezra Troutman 8, Tyler Bacon 1, Brandon Klefot 2.
NORTH BULLITT 20 (1-6-6-7) Lucas Johnson 5, Justin Clayton 2, Ricky Dunnavan 7, Zack Gearlds 4.