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FRANKFORT - A furious fourth quarter rally came up just short for the Bullitt East Chargers as they opened the 2009-10 basketball season with a 60-55 loss at Franklin County High School.
The Chargers trailed by 14 points early in the third quarter before narrowing the gap to two points down the stretch. Bullitt East even had possession of the ball down by two points, but could not convert.
“We got within two late, but couldn’t get over the hump,” Bullitt East head coach Troy Barr said later in the week. “We had the ball (down two) and turned it over. That hurt.”
The first part of the game was a half-court battle that bogged down on the offensive end. The Flyers hit a three-pointer at the end of the first quarter to go up 9-6 and when they hit another long shot just before halftime, they went into the break up 23-15.
Deciding that his team had enough of the slow stuff, Barr turned up the defensive pressure when Franklin County was on the verge of blowing the game open in the third quarter. The change in tempo suited the Chargers just fine.
“We turned up the press and got the pace of play going,” the veteran coach said. “I felt like we outplayed them in three of the four quarters. The problems there in the second quarter gave them the big halftime lead and that hurt us.”
With a young and relatively inexperienced team, Barr thinks that the faster tempo will suit his team better once they get their game legs.
“I think so,” the coach said. “We have to force tempo. With our young ages and inexperience sometimes in a half-court game you tend to turn it over. You want them to be loose and play with it and play aggressively.
“When we started to press we got right back in the game,” Barr pointed out.
Bullitt East got 14 points from junior Hayden Sweat, the most experienced of the returning Chargers this season. The red and gold also go 12 points from junior Corey Washburn as well as 11 points from senior Chase Troutman and 10 points from his cousin, freshman Rusty Troutman.
Chase Troutman and Sweat each had a trio of three-pointers for the Chargers while the team had seven three-pointers total.
Franklin County was led by the one-two punch of senior Vance Hall with 16 points and sophomore Eric Meyer who had 15 points.
After playing at Bullitt Central last Friday, the Chargers will be back in action on Tuesday of this week when they travel into Jefferson County to take on Butler. That will be the second game of a girl/boy doubleheader. The first game starts at 6 p.m. and the boys’ game will follow at around 7:30 p.m.
At Franklin County
BULLITT EAST 55 (6-9-19-21) Cody Mattingly 2, Rusty Troutman 10, Ryne McMullen 2, Hayden Sweat 14, Brandon Alphin 2, Chase Troutman 11, Adam Edge 2, Corey Washburn 12.
FRANKLIN COUNTY 60 (9-14-17-20) Samples 6, Burton 11, Bell 4, Hall 16, Meyer 15, McKee 8.