MOUNT WASHINGTON - Despite not having junior forward Rusty Troutman on Wednesday for the opening game of the 24th District Tournament, the Bullitt East Chargers made quick work of Whitefield Academy rolling to a 71-32 victory.
Troutman, the team's second leading scorer, left school earlier in the day with a stomach ailment. He ended up listening to the radio broadcast of the game.
Even without Troutman, as well as making only 21 of 57 shots, the Chargers had no trouble turning back their new district rivals. Bullitt East struggled to an 11-5 lead in the first quarter, but then blew the game open with a 22-7 surge in the second quarter.
Bullitt East has been one of the top defensive teams in the state this season and the 32 points that Whitefield scored was the lowest the Chargers have allowed this winter.
"Our kids stepped up tonight," Bullitt East head coach Troy Barr said. "With Rusty sick and Derek (Willis) having an off night and another out with grades, it seemed the sky was falling. The kids have been in tough games this season and they took care of business."
Willis had his worst shooting game of the season, making just two of 13 shots. He did connect on all five of his free throws to finish with ten points. He also pulled down ten rebounds and handed out five assists.
Picking up the pace was senior Kory Caufield who hit a trio of three-pointers and all seven of his free throws as he scored 22 points. Fellow senior Luke Francke added 16 points as he got the start in Troutman's absence.
The only Whitefield player to score more than five points while Andrew Patterson with 11 points.
WHITEFIELD ACADEMY 32 (5-8-6-13) Flores 2, Johnson 2, Pimpelly 2, Brussell 2, Hildreth 3, Getzin 3, Adkisson 2, Patterson 11, Ramey 5.
BULLITT EAST 71 (11-22-18-20) Luke Francke 16, Trey Rakes 9, Rhett Troutman 1, Josh Miller 2, Derek Jones 5, Kory Caufield 22, Tyler Sharpe 3, Chris Embry 2, Derek Willis 10, Ezra Troutman 1.
Lady Chargers Roll
Taking on a Fern Creek team that they had defeated 66-38 during the regular season, the Bullitt East Lady Chargers had to battle to the end before turning back the Lady Tigers 49-40 on Tuesday.
Bullitt East (14-15) never trailed after it was 6-5 in the first quarter, but they never could put their neighbors away until the closing moments.
The Lady Chargers had a 25-20 halftime advantage and after Nikole Isabel hit the first basket of the second half, Fern Creek (8-16) rallied with six straight points to get within one point. Bullitt East answered with a three-pointer from seventh-grader Lindsey Duvall that started a 9-2 run to close out the third quarter with the red and gold on top 36-28.
Fern Creek would get no closer than 38-34 the rest of the way.
"I was pleased with the way we rebounded the basketball," veteran Bullitt East head coach Chris Stallings said. "We also made good decisions with the ball."
Bullitt East got 12 points from senior Nikole Isabel as well as ten points from sophomore Taylor Blain.
Fern Creek's Rau Jua Terry led all scorers with 19 points.
FERN CREEK 40 (6-14-8-12) Kendrick 5, Winstead 2, Rogers 4, Jackson 1, Terry 19, Hawkins 5, Gathright 4.
BULLITT EAST 49 (7-18-11-13) Emily Fryman 7, Lindsey Duvall 5, Ashley Duvall 9, Nikole Isabel 12, Cady Cornell 2, Taylor Blain 10, Kylee Willis 4.