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Defending champs knock out BE early

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By Thomas Barr

      LOUISVILLE – Chalk it up to another good learning experience for the Bullitt East Lady Chargers.

     After a spirited victory over a top regional contender the night before, Bullitt East faced the state’s second rated basketball team Wednesday in the second round of the Louisville Invitational Tournament.

     On this night, the Lady Chargers would be no threat to the Manual Lady Crimsons, who jumped on top early en route to a 61-34 victory.

     “Manual played awfully well,” said veteran Bullitt East head coach Chris Stallings. “They shot the ball very well. They are a very good team.”

     Before the game, Stallings talked to his team about how important the first few minutes of the game would be as Manual typically comes out very aggressive.

     Manual did come out aggressive but Bullitt East could not answer.

     Scoring the first eight points of the game, the Lady Crimsons had four three-pointers to jump out to a 24-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

     Defensively, the length of the Manuel defense didn’t allow Bullitt East to score inside.

     Offensively, the Lady Crimsons may have had their best shooting performance of the season.

     To make matters worse, the Bullitt East faithful had a very scary moment at the 4 minute mark of the first quarter. Eighth grader, and leading scorer, Lindsey Duvall was fouled on a drive to the basket. She went down immediately in pain.

     After several moments, Duvall was able to leave the floor and Stallings said it appeared she hyperextended her knee. She could have returned to action but Stallings said it was much better that she sit out the rest of the night.

     Duvall’s injury came after Kaleigh Sharpe suffered an injury in the Butler game.

     Down 44-15 at halftime, Bullitt East could get no closer than 26 points the rest of the way.

     “This gave us another chance to play a very good team,” said Stallings. “We hope to have the opportunity to play them again.”

     The next possible matchup would be in the first round of the Sweet 16 when the Sixth and Seventh Region champs would square off.

     Stallings said he was pleased with the effort, although he felt the team was a bit inconsistent at times.

     He said the physical turnaround in less than 24 hours was probably not as different as the mental aspect of playing two top teams in a short span of time.

     “It was a good experience for us,” said Stallings, whose team fell to 18-6 but is still one of the favorites to win the Sixth Region crown. “We still have a few weeks to make some improvements.”

     For the night, Manual hit 10 three-pointers. Bullitt East got its only three treys from Taylor Blain.

At Bellarmine University

     BULLITT EAST (7-8-8-11) 34 – Taylor Blain 9, Courtney Pfister 9, Raegan Williams 4, Sara Stevens 4, Cady Cornell 2, Mackenzie Bass 2, Kylee Willis 2, Alyssa Peak 2

     Manual (24-20-12-5) 61 – Morgan Allen 14, Destony Curry 12, Tabitha Mitchell 8, Kayla Styles 5, Alexis Pasley 5, Erika Hawkins 4, Sydney MacBlane 3, Katie Long 3, Krystaline McCune 2, Aricka Prentice 2, Alisha Davis-Kent 2, Elizabeth Schaff 1