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SHEPHERDSVILLE – Thursday night. Friday night. Saturday night.
It didn’t seem to make any difference what night of the week it was for the Bullitt East Chargers last week as they rolled to an 86-37 victory over Bullitt Central in the first intra-county games of the season.
The contest was moved up a night from the traditional Friday date because of the Bullitt East football team playing the Class 4-A State Semi-finals at home against Calloway County that night.
It didn’t make any difference to the basketball Chargers.
Bullitt East came out in a full-court press and their advantage against the Bullitt Central ball-handling was obvious early. The Cougars are breaking in pretty much five new starters this season.
“We had them scouted well. They did what we expected,” Bullitt Central head coach Joe Pat Lee said after the game. “At this point we just don’t have the personnel to contain it. We had 37 points and 35 turnovers.
They are a good ball team and play well together,” the Cougar coach added. “They didn’t do anything that we didn’t expect. We just don’t have the personnel to beat it.”
Bullitt East started the same ‘small’ line-up that it had used two nights earlier in a three-point loss to Franklin County. This time the match-up worked out much better for the red and gold.
“Those five guys earned a chance to start after their effort on Tuesday,” Bullitt East head coach Troy Barr said. “We’ll change the starting line-up a lot this season based on who is playing well and what our opponent does.”
Still, Bullitt East’s ‘small’ line-up is bigger than what Bullitt Central could put on the floor. The Chargers still had a 27-22 rebounding edge despite the fact that they shot 55 percent from the field including a seven of 17 mark from beyond the arc.
Even with all of that, it was the turnovers that shaped this game. Bullitt East scored 32 points off Bullitt Central miscues.
“Bullitt Central is inexperienced and young so we wanted to get the pace up and get things going our way,” Barr noted.
The Cougars did manage to stay close for the first few minutes. Bullitt East was up 7-4 when the red and gold scored ten straight points, getting two points each from five different players. After Bullitt Central made it 17-8, Bullitt East scored the final 13 points of the quarter including three-pointers from Adam Kelty and Hayden Sweat.
After two more baskets to open the second quarter, the outcome was no longer in question. Nine different Bullitt East players scored in the first half.
“That’s going to be one of our strengths,” Barr said of the balanced scoring. “It will be hard to concentrate on certain people. I’m sure some will concentrate on Willie (Moore) and Adam and I hope some of the others can step up and fill in for us.”
In the end, 11 different players scored for the Chargers. Kelty led a balanced attack with 12 points while both Sweat and Brandon Alphin had 11 points. Tyler Downs finished with ten points.
Bullitt Central was led in scoring by T.J. Flener who collected 11 points as he canned a trio of three-pointers.
The Cougars also got eight points from senior Chris Taylor who just a week earlier was cleared to play for Bullitt Central after transferring from Spencer County.
The two rivals will meet again in Shepherdsville on Feb. 6.
Bullitt Central has another big intra-county game this Friday when they play host to North Bullitt. Bullitt East will be at Southern on Friday.
At Bullitt East
BULLITT CENTRAL 37 (8-12-7-10) Jesse Vittitoe 2, T.J. Flener 11, Jeremy Bennett 6, Mike Kean 1, Chris Taylor 8, Cory Brown 4, Travis Stepp 4, Dakota Masden 1.
BULLITT EAST 86 (30-18-25-13) Kody Kearney 6, Adam Kelty 12, Tyler Downs 12, Hayden Sweat 11, Brandon Alphin 11, Chase Troutman 4, Grant Polson 9, Tyler Payne 6, Adam Edge 6, Willie Moore 9, Chris Mattingly 2.