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HEBRON ESTATES - Suddenly hot, the North Bullitt Eagles rode a high confidence level to a third straight victory on Friday as they rallied in the second half to beat Sixth Region rival Holy Cross 68-59.
After starting the season 0-3, and looking bad in the first two games, the Eagles have rebounded under first-year head coach Brian Courtney with a vengeance, winning three straight games heading into this week’s Sarah Major Barger Tournament when the Eagles are hosting. Two of the three wins have come on the road.
North Bullitt got another big game from senior guard Brandon Goeing as he collected 24 points. In addition, junior Zac Lamkin continued his strong offensive production with 16 points. Senior Adrian Wethington added 15 points to the total.
Holy Cross, which had trouble holding onto the ball against North Bullitt’s pressure defense, had just four players score in the game. In fact, three of those players scored 51 of the 59 points that the Cougars (2-5) mustered. Both Dominique Mack and Justin McGohon scored 18 points for the home team.
Now, North Bullitt will look to build even more momentum as they head into their own tournament starting on Wednesday of this week. The green and gold will open play in the last of the four first-round games when they take the court at 8 p.m. against St. Francis, a team with a 1-4 record, having lost four straight games since opening with a win over Brown to start the season.
At Holy Cross HS
NORTH BULLITT 68 (13-14-19-22) Brandon Goeing 24, Zach King 5, Zac Lamkin 16, Ryan Collins 2, Adrian Wethington 15, Lucas Johnson 4, Brandon Wilder 2.
HOLY CROSS 59 (10-19-9-21) Couch 8, Bickell 15, Mack 18, McGohon 18.
Lady Chargers Fall Late
A three-pointer from Leeara Cardwell at the buzzer was the dagger that slayed the Bullitt East Lady Chargers as they dropped a 43-41 decision on the road to Martha Layne Collins High School.
Bullitt East had gone ahead with nine seconds to play when senior Nikole Isabel drained a three-pointer of her own. The Lady Chargers played good defense at the end, but Cardwell nailed her three-pointer from 26-feet away with a defender on her.
Collins (5-1) did not call a time-out after Isabel’s basket and scored off of transition.
“We could not have defended it much better in that situation,” Bullitt East head coach Chris Stallings said a few days later. “We had a defender in her face.”
Cardwell led all scorers in the game with 29 points.
Stallings credited the low scoring affair to good defense instead of faulty offense.
“Both teams played pretty good half-court defense for much of the game,” the veteran coach pointed out. “It was a pretty even game with neither team leading by more than six points.”
Bullitt East (2-4) is still struggling to find some consistency this season.
We have been played better, but have really struggled with being consistent with our overall offensive execution and ball movement,” Stallings said. “Over the break, we will work on that aspect and playing a lot of games in a short amount of time will be good for us with getting a lot of reps.”
Isabel, who was playing in only her third game of the season, finished with nine points. The Lady Chargers also got six points each from Taylor Blain and Kylee Willis.
Bullitt East will play at home this week as they host the Vision First Holiday Classic. The Lady Chargers will play four games in three days including two games on Wednesday. The championship game is set for 6:15 p.m. on Friday.
At Collins HS
BULLITT EAST 41 (9-7-15-10) Courtney Pfister 4, Ashley Duvall 6, Nikole Isabel 9, Carly Coulter 3, Cady Cornell 5, Taylor Blain 6, Kylee Willis 6, Lindsay Duvall 2.
MARTHA LAYNE COLLINS 43 (9-11-10-13) Cardwell 29, Wells 7, Mouser 2, Clemens 3, Buckmaster 2.