SHIVELY - There was more than enough frustration to go around for the Bullitt Central Lady Cougars on Tuesday as a late-game collapse allowed Pleasure Ridge Park to rally for a 58-53 win at home.
Bullitt Central (8-5) had strong stretches in the first half racing out to a 15-6 lead after one quarter and a late surge just before halftime gave the maroon and gray a 31-22 lead. With the opening basket of the second half by junior Kristen Collins, the lead swelled to 33-22.
However, that was the high-water mark for the Lady Cougars. With an eight-point run midway through the third quarter and then five straight points to end the quarter, the Lady Panthers (6-10) pulled within 46-43. PRP then scored the first basket of the final frame, but Bullitt Central seemed to regain an edge when back-to-back baskets by Selena Yunt pushed the lead back out to 51-45 with 6:14 remaining.
But the short momentum switch didn't last. In fact, Bullitt Central would not score another basket in the game, settling for just two free throws as Pleasure Ridge Park went on a 13-2 run to end the game.
The Lady Panthers pulled ahead for the first time in the game at the 3:36 mark on two free throws by Kelsey Adwell. After Kayla Riggs tied the game at 53-53 with a free throw, PRP scored five points over the final 1:26, all by Adwell, to secure the victory.
After the game, Bullitt Central head coach Bryan Bates was not in a talkative mood.
"It was a game we should have won," the veteran coach said. "We gave it away."
As has too often been the case for the Lady Cougars this season, they had to battle foul trouble much of the night. Yunt fouled out with 5:37 to play and back-up Casey Refrow followed her to the bench less than two minutes later.
The two teams combined to shoot 50 free throws in the game, but the Bullitt Central coaches and fans were more upset with two fouls not called in the final minute when the game was still on the line.
"We get in foul trouble before we even get off the bus," Bates lamented. "We can't do that."
Coming off six games over the holidays, Bates was looking forward to having four straight days of practice. The Lady Cougars had gone over two weeks without back-to-back practices.
"We have to work on rebounding," Bates said. "We gave up 15 offensive rebounds tonight. Then we will work on late-game situations.
"We haven't had two practices in a row since forever," the coach added. "We won't stop right now. We're not shooting it will. We didn't do anything well tonight."
Riggs led Bullitt Central with 16 points while senior Kaitlyn McKnight tossed in 14 points while fell senior Seaera Minyard collected 11 points.
Adwell led PRP with 17 points while Paige Murphy finished with 16.
After playing against Fairdale over the weekend, Bullitt Central will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Jeffersontown.
At Pleasure Ridge Park
BULLITT Central 53 (15-16-15-7) Kayla Riggs 16, Kristen Collins 5, Selena Yunt 5, Seaera Minyard 11, Kaitlyn McKinght 14, Casey Renfrow 2.
PLEASURE RIDGE PARK 58 (6-16-21-15) Kuban 12, Murphy 16, Adwell 17, Stewart 2, Fox 8, Shedd 3.