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LOUISVILLE – The North Bullitt Lady Eagles have been moving up the area basketball chain in recent years and coach Amber Courtney’s team got to move into the best neighborhood around on Saturday as they competed in the Raatz Fence/O’Shea’s Basketball Classic at Mercy High School.
The big event almost didn’t happen for the Lady Eagles as early morning snow on Saturday put the event into question. Finally, after Jefferson County public schools were barred from playing that day, Mercy shuffled the schedule, moving North Bullitt’s first game of the day against Christian Academy of Louisville back 90 minutes.
That put the Lady Eagles on the floor and they put up a fight against the Lady Centurians before falling 61-51. North Bullitt was within 48-44 when Katie Downey hit a jumper with 2:17 remaining but they could get no closer.
Courtney said she was on the phone at 7:30 a.m. working with Mercy officials to get the game played at some point on Saturday. It wasn’t until a few hours later that the team found out that they would be allowed to make the trip and that the game would be played.
It was also important for North Bullitt just to play a game as they had not been in a competitive situation in nine days because of the recent cold and bad weather.
Obviously, there were a few kinks that the team needed to work out. The Lady Eagles had 23 turnovers to just 14 for CAL. North Bullitt also hit just half of their 18 free throws.
“We’re just rusty,” Courtney said after the loss. “We just have to get back in a good rhythm. We weren’t even allowed to practice some of those days. We only practiced Monday, Thursday and Friday.
“We had several more turnovers than normal for us,” the coach added. “Then we let them get too many offensive rebounds in the second half. Then our free throw shooting wasn’t very good.”
North Bullitt’s only lead in the game came when Katie Downey got the first points of the game. CAL led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter and it was a four-point game at halftime.
Two minutes into the second half without any points from her team, Courtney inserted five new players into the line-up. That group stayed on the floor the entire final 5:51 of the third quarter before the starters returned at to open the fourth quarter. It was a six-point game when the change was made and at it was five points, at 39-34, to open the fourth quarter.
“The starters didn’t have a lot of fluidness,” Courtney said. “That second group did well. It was like the Bullitt Central game. They showed they can play.
Downey scored the first basket of the final frame and at the 6:10 mark, North Bullitt’s leading scorer this season, Savannah Morrison, got her first basket of the game, to make it 41-38, but North Bullitt would get no closer.
Downey led North Bullitt led all scorers in the game with 21, but no one else was in double-digits for the Lady Eagles.
Christian Academy (9-10) got 20 points each from Emma Wesley and Brittany Mumford along with 11 points by McKenzie Campbell.
North Bullitt will get another shot at CAL as the two teams will meet on the final Friday night of the regular season, Feb. 21, at CAL.
Saturday at Mercy
NORTH BULLITT 51 (7-17-10-17) Rachel Badgett 3, Devyn Tompkins 5, Maria George 5, Erin Dolan 4, Katie Downey 21, Megan Goeing 8, Savannah Morrison 5.
CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 61 (14-14-11-22) Blackburn 4, Dunn 1, Wesley 20, Conti 5, Mumford 20, Campbell 11.
Lady Eagles Rebound
After the short two-game losing streak, the Lady Eagles got back in the win column in a big way on Monday as they raced past 23rd District rival Moore 67-25.
The win moved North Bullitt to 2-0 in the standings used for district seeding and the Lady Eagles can wrap up the number one seed on Thursday with a win over Southern at home. That game will be part of a boy-girl doubleheader with the boys’ game starting at 6 p.m. and the girls’ game to follow at around 7:30 p.m.
The game on Monday was only in question for a few moments. However, coach Amber Courtney did need to call a time-out three-minutes into the game to get her team’s attention as they only led 6-4. After the break, Katie Downey connected on a three-pointer and that fueled a 16-4 run to end the quarter.
By halftime, the Lady Eagles were on top 38-11 against a Moore team that has won only once this season. With 5:20 remaining in the third quarter, North Bullitt had pushed ahead by 35 points and the rest of the game was played with a running clock.
North Bullitt (13-3) had nine players score in the win led by senior Savannah Morrison with 14 points while Downey had 12 and Erin Dolan finished with 11.
Monday at Moore
NORTH BULLITT 67 (22-16-11-18) Savannah Morrison 14, Maria George 7, Katie Downey 12, Erin Dolan 11, Kelsey Raikes 4, Megan Goeing 2, Lauren Deel 6, Blankenship 8, Hailey Free 3.
MOORE 25 (8-3-5-9) McKay 2, Anastasia Crawford 2, Rivera 3, Jones 3, McQueary 2, White 13.