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SHEPHERDSVILLE - Since losing to North Bullitt back on Jan. 13, the Bullitt Central Cougars have been on a mission.
The Cougars recovery from loss gained more momentum early last week as the maroon and gray won a pair of games in 24-hours to improve to 17-5 overall. Since the North Bullitt loss, the Cougars have won four straight and since a loss to the state's fifth-ranked team, Pleasure Ridge Park, on Jan. 3, the Cougars have won six of seven.
On Monday, Bullitt Central picked up a tough win as they hosted DeSales and came away with a 61-53 victory. A night later, the Cougars didn't play quite as well, but still managed to roll past Kentucky Country Day 60-49.
Playing DeSales, Bullitt Central only had a 31-29 edge at halftime, but then outscored the Colts 30-24 in the second half.
"Against DeSales we shot it well," Bullitt Central head coach Joe Pat Lee said later in the week. "We hit ten threes and we did a great job in our man-to-man defense. We pushed it out to ten in the second half and then held on and hit free throws down the stretch.
Bullitt Central got all but 15 of its points from seniors Caleb Craddock and Ryan Schnellenberger. Craddock finished with a game-high 28 points a trio of three-pointers. Schnellenberger nailed five three-pointers and collected 18 points. The other two three-pointers were made by junior Aaron Duckett who came off the bench to score eight points.
DeSales (9-11) got six three-pointers from Cameron Duncan who led the Colts with 23 points.
"DeSales was a nice win," Lee noted. "They had just won the All 'A' (regional) title (beating Holy Cross 66-55). It was a solid performance for us."
On Tuesday, the Cougars held Kentucky Country Day to just 14 points in the second half as they rolled to a 60-49 victory.
For most of the season, the Cougars have relied mostly on the scoring of Craddock, Schnellenberger and fellow senior Damon Shepherd with the other players adding points here and there, often having six or seven players get into the scoring column. That wasn't the case on Tuesday. Bullitt Central had just four players get into the scoring column against the Bearcats, but each of the four who did score, posted at least 12 points.
Craddock led the way again with 19 points while Schnellenberger finished with 16. Shepherd posted 13 points while senior John Sullivan came off the bench and scored 12 points.
Bullitt Central finished with 11 three-pointers in this win as both Schnellenberger and Sullivan knocked down four of the long shots.
The Cougars have just two home games remaining this season. One of those will come on Monday night of this week when the maroon and gray will celebrate Senior Night when they play host to Beat Haven. On Tuesday, the maroon and gray will travel to Shawnee.
Bullitt Central does not play over the upcoming weekend as they will prepare for a big week next week as they will take on 23rd District rivals Moore and Southern.
Monday at Bullitt Central
DESALES 53 (17-12-9-15) Duncan 23, Rousch 9, Montgomery 3, Bouchard 5, Schurfranz 2, Bingham 11.
BULLITT CENTRAL 61 (13-18-13-17) Caleb Craddock 28, Ryan Schnellenberger 18, Damon Shepherd 3, Corey Smith 2, Luke Whitmore 2, Aaron Duckett 8.
Tuesday at KCD
BULLITT CENTRAL 60 (12-13-18-17) Caleb Craddock 19, Ryan Schnellenberger 16, Damon Shepherd 13, John Sullivan 12.
KENTUCKY COUNTY DAY 49 (9-5-19-16) Scinta 13, Brown 5, Ferguson 8, Zimlich 2, Crockett 1, Scholtz 10, Lykes 10.
A Win is a Win
No coach turns down victories within the district, but North Bullitt head coach Brian Courtney had mixed emotions last Tuesday as his Eagles struggled to beat Evangel 66-62.
Evangel (6-12) has already conceded a loss to Moore in district play and earlier this season had suffered a 54-point loss to Bullitt Central within the district as well as a 43-point setback in the district to Southern.
In fact, North Bullitt trailed in this game 51-50 entering the fourth quarter before holding Evangel to just 11 points over the final eight minutes to secure the victory at home.
On the positive side, North Bullitt moved to 12-7 with the win as they won for the seventh time in the last eight outings.
The Eagles had nine players score in the game and they were once again led by senior Brandon Goeing who scored 20 points including a trio of three-pointers. The green and gold also got 13 points from Lucas Johnson.
Evangel had three players score 50 of their 61 points led by Sellinger with 23 points.
After playing twice over the weekend North Bullitt will be at home on Tuesday when they play host to Sixth Region rival Holy Cross. That will be the final tune-up for the Eagles before they travel into Jefferson County on Friday to take on Moore in a key 23rd District game. Moore is the state's sixth-ranked team.
Tuesday at North Bullitt
EVANGEL 62 (14-14-23-11) Janes 14, Brindley 13, Sellinger 23, Richmond 7, Galvan 2, Fulks 2, Miller 1.
NORTH BULLITT 66 (14-18-18-16) Brandon Goeing 20, Ryan Collins 7, Zach King 8, Zac Lamkin 3, Lucas Johnson 13, Adrien Wethington 2, Jared George 9, Shelby Rose 2, Ricky Dunnavan 2.