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MOUNT WASHINGTON - Sometimes you have to laugh a little bit to get some serious work done.
The Bullitt East Chargers did just that early last week as they snapped a four-game losing streak with a pair of victories. That action pushed the red and gold back over the .500 mark with a 9-8 record.
The fun started on Monday when the team reported to practice. Head coach Troy Barr let the players conduct the first 30 minutes of the workout to the enjoyment of the whole team. A day later, the losing streak was history as the Chargers went on the road and beat South Oldham 67-58.
Two days later, Bullitt East had a lot more fun as they set a number of school records as they beat former district rival Spencer County 103-53.
“On Monday we let the kids do whatever they wanted for 30 minutes,” Barr said. “They got to run practice. They did such a good job that I let them do the whole first quarter at South Oldham and the kids responded. It shows that we trust them and that they have the maturity to handle that.”
South Oldham is always one of the better outside shooting teams in the state and that was the point of emphasis for the Charger defense. The Dragons are seventh in the state this season in three-point shooting accuracy.
Bullitt East got the message as they held South Oldham to just one made three-pointer in the first half. For the game, the Dragons were five of 24 from beyond the arc.
“The kids did the job on defense and the rest took care of itself,” Barr noted.
Bullitt East allowed South Oldham to score just eight points in each of the first two quarters. That allowed the offense to sprint out to a 30-16 halftime edge. While South Oldham did outscore the Chargers by five points in the third quarter, they were never able to make a strong run at the visitors.
South Oldham dropped to 6-9 with the loss as they were led by Casey Jackson with 18 points.
Bullitt East got a huge game from senior guard Adam Kelty who had his highest scoring game of the season with a 32-point explosion. The senior connected on six three-pointers.
The Chargers also got 15 points from Willie Moore.
Two nights later, the outcome was pretty much known before Spencer County got off the bus. The Bears have won just four games this season and they are just too young and inexperienced to stay with the Chargers.
Bullitt East jumped on top 24-9 in the first quarter and the red and gold stretched that to 48-20 by halftime.
This is just not a strong Spencer County squad.
“No, it’s not,” Barr said of a program that the Chargers have had some wars with in the past. “They are very inexperienced. We were supposed to win big and we did. The kids did their jobs. We wanted 40 good looks in threes out of our system. We got 37 and hit 17.”
The final tally was the first time Bullitt East has exceeded 100 points this season. In fact, the previous high for the season was 86 and this was only the third time the team has eclipsed 78 points during the campaign.
The beneficiary of the offensive explosion was Bullitt East sophomore guard Hayden Sweat who came off the bench to hit a school record eight three-pointers as he finished with 30 points. The final tally had Sweat making eight of 12 shots beyond the arc.
Bullitt East’s overall total of 17 three-pointers also set a new school record.
The Charger coaching staff will look to continue doing some different things in the upcoming games.
“We’ll look at some opportunities and see what we can do differently to challenge them mentally,” Barr said. “We were putting the same thing on the board before every game and maybe they got complacent. Maybe we’ll do different things to challenge them.”
Bullitt East will be on the road for a pair of games this week. On Tuesday, the Chargers will head to Buckner for a battle with Oldham County before playing at North Bullitt on Friday in the first of two meetings over the next month between the two rivals.
At South Oldham
BULLITT EAST 67 (18-12-20-17) Adam Kelty 32, Tyler Downs 7, Hayden Sweat 5, Brandon Alphin 2, Chase Troutman 2, Grant Polson 1,Justin Smith 3, Willie Moore 15.
SOUTH OLDHAM 58 (8-8-25-17) Bowling 2, Kranmer 15, Jewett 4, Jackson 18, Miller 2, Seitz 9, Schumn 5, Malueg 3.
At Bullitt East
SPENCER COUNTY 53 (9-11-19-14) Wyatt 7, Dunbar 17, Miller 2, Thacker 10, Baird 8, Goodwin 2, Swinney 2, Stajanovic 2, Cull 3.
BULLITT EAST 103 (24-24-26-29) Kodey Kearney 10, Adam Kelty 16, Tyler Downs 6, Hayden Sweat 30, Brandon Alphin 7, Chase Troutman 1, Grant Polson 2, Justin Smith 10, Tyler Payne 3, Michael Bozarth 1, Adam Edge 2, Corey Washburn 2, Willie Moore 13.