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HEBRON ESTATES - The North Bullitt Eagles made it five straight wins on Tuesday as the green and gold traveled into Jefferson County and managed to slip past Waggener 71-67.
This was the second meeting of the season between the two schools. They had played in the semi-finals of the Sarah Major Barger Tournament at North Bullitt on Dec. 22 with the Eagles winning 75-64.
This time, North Bullitt was down 33-32 at halftime before outscoring the Wildcats 18-13 in the third quarter. They then held on down the stretch to improve to 10-6.
"We are playing well," first-year North Bullitt had coach Brian Courtney said a few days later. "But, the players and coaches know that we can play better."
After the big third quarter, North Bullitt pushed out to a double-digit lead in the final frame only to have Waggener make a late run.
"We need to do a better at closing out games," Courtney said. "We have let two teams back in games this week. On both Monday and Tuesday we had double digit leads with four minutes to go in the fourth quarters and didn't extend those leads."
North Bullitt (10-6) had very little varsity experience coming into this season, but the new players are starting to find they roles on the team. Brandon Goeing once again led the Eagles with 18 points, but juniors Zach King added 15 points while Lucas Johnson scored 14.
"The other players (besides Goeing) who had little varsity experience are now starting to play up to their ability," Courtney pointed out. "They just needed to get some games under their belt to be comfortable in game situations. We hope teams keep chasing Brandon around because our other players can make plays that we know they can make."
Courtney has also been happy with the team's evolving defense.
"Our defense is what is winning us games," the coach said. "We are getting stops at crucial times and this is why we are winning close games. We are also a very good free throw shooting team which really helps in end of game situations."
On Monday night, North Bullitt had a little bit of everything before pulling away in the fourth quarter to beat visiting Henry County 56-49.
The Eagles had the early lead at 16-8, but then were behind 27-24 at halftime. Heading into the fourth quarter, the two former Eighth Region rivals were tied before North Bullitt went on a 19-12 run to end the game.
This time, Goeing collected 22 points and he had a different supporting cast in terms of scoring as Ryan Collins, Adrien Wethington and Jared George each hand nine points.
After playing two games over the weekend, North Bullitt will be back at home for a 23rd District game against Evangel.
Tuesday at Waggener
NORTH BULLITT 71 (17-15-18-21) Brandon Goeing 18, Ryan Collins 6, Zach King 15, Zac Lamkin 6, Lucas Johnson 14, Adrien Wethington 8, Jared George 2, Jalin Ratliff 2.
WAGGENER 67 (15-18-13-21) Head 17, D. Maddox 7, Ingram 10, Taylor 2, Stallard 6, Millner 1, Dennison 1, Newton 13, Adams 6, Frederick 4.
Monday at North Bullitt
HENRY COUNTY 49 (8-19-10-12) Hartlage 8, Dunn 15, Payton 2, Stallings 5, Jefferies 6, Young 11, Isaacs 2.
NORTH BULLITT 56 (16-8-13-19) Brandon Goeing 22, Ryan Collins 9, Zach King 4, Zac Lamkin 1, Lucas Johnson 2, Adrien Wethington 9, Jared George 9.
Lady Eagles Fall
Young and inconsistent are often words that go hand-in-hand when it comes to a high school basketball team.
That has been the case this season for the North Bullitt Lady Eagles and that combination continued on Monday as the green and gold headed to Radcliff and dropped a 50-34 decision to John Hardin (13-4).
Since winning their own First Citizens Bank Classic Tournament, the Lady Eagles are 3-3, alternating wins and losses. The 34 points in this game were nine fewer than coach Amber Courtney's team had scored in any previous game this season.
Savannah Morrison paced North Bullitt (12-5) with 16 points, but the team had only five players score.
The Lady Eagles are in the mist of a mid-season lull in the schedule. The team did not play over the weekend and the only game in a nearly two-week span will be tonight when North Bullitt plays host to Central Hardin.
At John Hardin
NORTH BULLITT 34 (7-9-10-8) Savannah Morrison 16, Reba Stice 5, Katie Downey 2, Kasey McCoy 8, Erin Dolan 3.
JOHN HARDIN 50 (6-13-14-17) Fletcher 4, Stateman 4, Small 10, Montgomery 23, Mills 7, Taylor 2.