Chargers take control of district, region

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By Mike Farner

      MOUNT WASHINGTON – A pair of impressive victories last week put the Bullitt East Chargers just where they want to be entering post-season play next week – as the team to beat.

     At the regional level, Bullitt East remained undefeated against Sixth Region foes this winter as they blew past Fairdale, the state’s eighth-ranked team, 76-63.

     The victory, in front of another near full house, was the 100th for Bullitt East seniors Rusty Troutman and Trey Rakes. The two have been starters since they arrived as freshmen. Over the four-year span, the Chargers are 30-1 at home.

     On Thursday, the Chargers were just as impressive as they took control early and then cruised past 24th District rival Jeffersontown 76-57. The win gave Bullitt East the number one seed for next week’s 24th District Tournament which will be played at Fern Creek.

     What has changed for the Chargers over the past two weeks is that former starting guard Hunter Noffsinger is no longer with the team. His last game came on the team’s trip to the Joe B. Hall Classic on Jan. 26.

     Bullitt East played twice more over the weekend and the red and gold will close out the regular season with a pair of games this week. On Tuesday, the most successful era in Charger history will play its final game at home as they play host to Bullitt Central.

     The regular season will then end on Thursday when Bullitt East travels to Elizabethtown.

District Win

     After trailing 6-2 90 seconds into Thursday’s game at Jeffersontown, Bullitt East went on a 21-3 run and then never looked back in defeating the Jefferson County Chargers 76-57.

     Jeffersontown, on the strength of five three-pointers in the first half, managed to stay within 31-21 at halftime. Bullitt East ended that in a hurry when they scored the first ten points of the third quarter. The margin grew to as many as 29 points at 62-33.

     Defense is fueling Bullitt East playing even better.

     “Our guys are buying in and that will take us where we want to go,” Charger head coach Troy Barr said after the Jeffersontown win. “We kept Fairdale and Jeffersontown out of synch on offense. That’s five guys on the floor buying into the defense.”

     Derek Willis scored 16 of the first 25 points for Bullitt East and the senior finished with 24 points and six rebounds.

Thursday at Jeffersontown

     BULLITT EAST 76 (19-12-20-25) Tyler Sharpe 3, Trey Rakes 6, Zach Allen 1, Rusty Troutman 10, Rhett Troutman 4, Austin Colvin 5, Elliott Young 7, Blake Allen 2, Chris Embry 9, Derek Willis 24, Ezra Troutman 4, Tyler Bacon 1.

     JEFFERSONTWON 57 (9-12-8-28) Baker 5, Marshall 3, Hendricks 5, Williams 21, Howard 5, Johnson 13, Haskins 5.

Fairdale Muffled

     Bullitt East faced some tough hurdles on Tuesday against Fairdale, but the team came through with flying colors as a 12-2 run to close the first half gave the Charges an 11 point lead and they never looked back in defeating a strong Fairdale team 76-63.

     The Chargers maintained at least a nine point lead throughout the third quarter and three dunks by Willis in the first two minutes of the final frame pushed the margin to 55-41 to seal the deal.

     Bullitt East controlled this game but controlling the rebounding, beating an athletic Fairdale team to 12 more rebounds (40-28).

     The points came from the obvious places as Rusty Troutman scored 24 while Willis had 23 with 11 rebounds. Senior forward Elliott Young also had a big game with 14 points and 13 rebonds.

     “13 rebounds is what we need out of him,” Barr said. “That’s awesome.”

     Darren Lowrey scored 25 points for Fairdale.

Tuesday at Bullitt East

     FAIRDALE 63 (17-6-14-26) Longacre 13, Payne 5, Thomas 13, Crabtree 7, Lowrey 25.

     BULLITT EAST 76 (20-14-14-28) Tyler Sharpe 3, Trey Rakes 6, Rusty Troutman 24, Rhett Troutman 2, Elliott Young 14, Chris Embry 4, Derek Willis 23.