MOUNT WASHINGTON – The Bullitt East Lady Chargers proved on Thursday that they belong with the top teams in the Sixth Region this season as they held on to beat Pleasure Ridge Park 59-56 on Dixie Highway.
Two days later, the Lady Chargers won again, putting on a strong defensive effort in the season half as they beat Ryle 61-36 in the first game on Saturday in the Raatz Fence Classic at Mercy High School.
Back on Jan. 8, Bullitt East was broadsided by Sixth Region and 24th District rival Mercy 76-45. That seemed to be a wake-up call for the red and gold as they have since won five straight contest to improve to 17-5 overall heading into this week’s Girls’ Louisville Invitational Tournament at Bellarmine University. The 17 wins is the second most in the Sixth Region behind the 19 that Pleasure Ridge Park boasts.
The Lady Panthers came into the game ranked third in the Sixth Region in the computer rankings while Bullitt East was fourth.
The meeting with Pleasure Ridge Park on Thursday was a battle for 32 minutes. The two rivals were tied at 29-29 at halftime and the Lady Chargers had only a 44-42 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The two teams were never separated by more than five points.
“We did a nice job down the stretch in the PRP game of not giving up some contested shots on defense and with our rebounding,” Bullitt East head coach Chris Stallings said later. “On offense, we executed some of our sets and that let to some good looks.
“It was a good win on the road for us,” the veteran coach added. “Every possession was big on offense and defense. Hopefully, that will go a long way in helping this young team see the importance of each possession.”
Bullitt East got another big game from eighth-grader Lindsey Duvall who came off the bench and scored 18 points. Junior Taylor blain added 12 points for the red and gold.
Kelsey Adwell scored 20 points for PRP.
On Saturday, competing once more in the Raatz Fence Classic at Mercy High School, the Lady Chargers turned up the defensive pressure in the second half and rolled past the Ninth Region’s Ryle High School by a 61-36 score.
Bullitt East jumped on top 21-11 in the first quarter before Ryle closed to within 30-23 at halftime. That all changed in the second half as the Lady Chargers gave up just 13 points as they pulled away for the lopsided win.
“On Saturday against Ryle we played pretty solid for three quarters,” Stallings said. “We had a fantastic start and finished each quarter strong.
“The girls were able to make a few adjustments at halftime with the defense and refocus on offense,” the coach added. “There were some open areas that really started paying off for us midway through the third and into the fourth quarter.”
Junior forward Courtney Pfister had one of her best games of the season scoring as she led the Lady Chargers with 17 points. Duvall added 11 to the total.
For Ryle, 32 of the 36 points were scored by two players.
The girls continue to come to the gym and work hard on improving and it is nice when they can see their hard work paying off,” Stallings said. “We are starting to find a good balance in our inside/outside game and that has been a key to our recent success. We have to continue working on both sides of the ball as we have a lot of big games coming up against strong opponents.”
Bullitt East will play in the Girls’ Louisville Invitational Tournament this week at Bellarmine University. The Lady Chargers had a rematch with Butler on Tuesday and if they win that game will play on Wednesday against Manual at 5 p.m.
Thursday at PRP
BULLITT EAST 59 (15-14-15-15) Emily Fryman 8, Courtney Pfister 2, Lindsey Duvall 18, Kaleigh Sharpe 7, Cady Cornell 3, Taylor Blain 12, Mackenzie Bass 4, Kylee Willis 3, Sara Stevens 2.
PLEASURE RIDGE PARK 56 (14-15-13-14) Jones 3, Fries 8, Adwell 20, Taylor 9, Brown 4, Stewart 8, Shead 4.
Raatz Fence Classic At Mercy High School
BULLITT EAST 61 (21-9-10-21) Courtney Pfister 17, Kylee Willis 2, Emily Fryman 7, Taylor Blain 7, Lindsey Duvall 11, Mackenzie Bass 5, Sara Stevens 2, Taylor Williamson 4, Kaleigh Sharpe 2, Raegan Williams 4.
RYLE 36 (11-12-4-9) Oliverio 16, Connor 2, Senvisky 16, Lange 2.