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East tunes up for post-season with BC sweep

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By Mike Farner

 MOUNT WASHINGTON – The Bullitt East Chargers and Lady Chargers both tuned-up for the post-season with a pair of impressive wins over Bullitt Central on Tuesday in the first to last games of the regular season for both squads.

It was an emotional final home game for the most successful class in school history and more than 1,800 locals showed up to say goodbye to a senior class that has won 33 of 34 home games over the past four seasons as well as 103 games overall including a pair of Sixth Region titles and a spot in the state semi-finals two years ago.

The game was almost anti-climactic as for the second time in four days, the Chargers made it look easy over their county rivals as they blitzed Bullitt Central 72-22.

In the first game on Tuesday, the Lady Chargers maintained a double-digit lead in the second half as they showed they are ready for the post-season with a 63-36 victory.

Chargers’ Farewell

The Chargers felt a lot of love from the community on Tuesday as Senior Night brought out a flood of emotions both on the court and in the stands as the program’s six seniors were recognized before the game.

The group responded with an overpowering performance as they never let Bullitt Central come up for air in the 50-point mauling. It was the second lopsided win for the Chargers over their county rivals this season.

The first 26 points for Bullitt East were scored by seniors including ten points from Rusty Troutman and eight from Derek Willis were later in the week were both invited to upcoming try-outs for the Kentucky All-Stars. When Elliott Young scored to end the senior run, the Chargers were up 26-6.

The lead ballooned to 39-8 by halftime and by the 5:45 mark of the third quarter the clock was running all the time.

While Bullitt East has a number of offensive weapons, head coach Troy Barr feels that the team is rounding into shape on the defensive end which is fueling the team’s 11-game winning streak.

“I’m more happy than anything that the guys are playing defense,” the veteran coach said after his 241st career win, the most in Bullitt County history. “They have turned it up a notch and they are ready to make a run.”

The wins are a given at this point, but Barr is looking to make his team better for the post-season.

“We’re trying to break it down by quarters for what we want to do and not worry about the score,” Barr pointed out.

Rusty Troutman finished with 21 points for the Chargers while Willis tossed in 18 points. Trey Rakes, the team’s point guard, finished with 11 points.

Bullitt Central’s lowest offensive output of the season included five points from Kevin Ford.

“They are really, really good at every phase of the game,” Bullitt Central head coach Joe Pat Lee said after the game. “Even with the score I felt my guys played hard and battled.

“We still have to work on playing smarter and listening,” the coach added. “We’re 25 games into the season and we’re still talking to guys about the same mistakes we made in games one and two. That keeps us from making the next step.”

Bullitt Central junior center Brett Bourland did not play in this game because of a minor injury but Lee expects him back for the 23rd District Tournament which starts on Monday for the Cougars.

At Bullitt East

BULLITT CENTRAL 22 (4-4-1-13) Joseph Wampler 1, Jake Gillard 4, Alex Cromer 2, Kevin Ford 5, Colin Trent 3, Roy Crable 3, Cameron Dukes 4.

BULLITT EAST 72 (18-21-18-15) Tyler Sharpe 2, Trey Rakes 11, Rusty Troutman 21, Rhett Troutman 4, Austin Colvin 4, Derek Jones 2, Elliott Young 4, Derek Willis 18, Ezra Troutman 3, Tyler Bacon 3.

Lady Chargers Roll

In the first game on Tuesday, the Bullitt East Lady Chargers got 17 points off the bench from eighth-grader Lindsey Duvall and they pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 63-36 decision over Bullitt Central.

Bullitt East had beaten their county rivals 69-35 back on Jan. 17 in Shepherdsville.

“I would like to have been a little more intense and mentally focused than we started out,” Bullitt East head coach Chris Stallings said. “Bullitt did a nice job keeping it at their pace in the first quarter. I thought we did a nice job of readjusting in the second quarter. We turned up our intensity a little in the second quarter.”

Bullitt East led 12-4 after one quarter and it was 33-17 at halftime.

“Our defense was good for the whole game,” Stallings said. “They only had two field goals in the first half. That says a lot. They only had eight for the game. We did some good things defensively.”

Besides the 17 points from Duvall off the bench, the red and gold also got 11 points from Emily Fryman and eight points by Taylor Blain.

Scoring has been a struggle for Bullitt Central most of the season and with the 23rd District Tournament starting this week, scoring more will be a key for the Lady Cougars. Still, head coach Kyle Roach was pleased with the overall effort.

“I’m happy, but it’s a tough sell to the girls as they still beat us good,” Roach said. “It’s not going to be easy against them. They make you pay for every mistake.”

Bullitt Central got 13 points from senior guard Kayla Riggs, but no other Lady Cougars scored more than the seven points turned in by Chasity Hodge.  

At Bullitt East

BULLITT CENTRAL 36 (4-13-12-7) Kayla Riggs 13, Selena Yunt 4, Chasity Hodge 7, Emily Ratliff 6, Stephanie Still 1, Alexis Graham 3, Shelby Flener 2.

BULLITT EAST 63 (12-21-10-20) Emily Fryman 11, Taylor Blair 2, Courtney Pfister 3, Lindsey Duvall 17, Kaliegh Sharpe 4, Alyssa Peak 1, Taylor Blain 8, Mackenzie Bass 3, Kylee Willis 6, Raegan Williams 2, Sara Stevens 5.

Free Throws Carry BE

The final game of the regular season wasn’t as smooth as many this season, but the Bullitt East Chargers battled through some tough moments on Thursday to beat Elizabethtown 59-54.

The game was won at the free throw line as Bullitt East made 10 straight at the charity stripe over the final 2:29 after the Panthers had pulled within 49-48. For the game, Bullitt East was 18 of 22.

The win gave the Chargers a 26-4 mark heading into the post-season.

Rusty Troutman paced Bullitt East with 21 points while Willis scored 16 and Rakes had 11.

Elizabethtown (14-13), which had lost at Trinity 62-37 two nights earlier, got 18 points by Nic McDonald.

At Elizabethtown

BULLITT EAST 59 (15-19-10-15) Rusty Troutman 21, Derek Willis 16, Trey Rakes 11, Tyler Sharpe 6, Elliott Young 3, Rhett Troutman 2.

ELIZABETHTOWN 54 (9-19-8-18) McDonald 18, Harris 13, Harding 9, Najdawi 5, Jones 5, Patterson 2, Johnson 2.