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MOUNT WASHINGTON - A three-pointer by senior Adam Kelty with five seconds remaining gave the Bullitt East Chargers their most impressive victory of the season on Saturday as the red and gold slipped past North Hardin 71-69 in the Outback Steakhouse 5th/6th Region Challenge.
The victory saved the day for Bullitt County in the three-game showcase that pitted the local teams against three squads from Hardin County. In the first game, North Bullitt was ambushed by John Hardin 74-30. After the Bullitt East win, Bullitt Central fell to Central Hardin 103-69.
Bullitt East Heroics
All the excitement came in the middle game as Bullitt East went toe-to-toe with one of the most athletic opponents they will face this season. After the game was tied at 38-38 at halftime, Bullitt East led for much of the second half before a late Trojan rally moved them ahead 66-65 with 2:14 remaining.
After Kelty tied the game with a free throw at 1:38, North Hardin got a basket from Jordan Bramblett before Willie Moore tied the game again with a basket with 52 seconds remaining.
Veteran North Hardin head coach Ron Bevars called a time-out at :38.6 and then Cameron Irvin was fouled at :22.1. Twice with Irvin on the line, Bullitt East called time-out. That worked as Irvin made the first chance, but then missed the second, putting his team up 69-68.
Bullitt East passed the ball around the perimeter before going inside to Moore. The senior took one dribble and it looked like he was going to shoot, but then fired the ball out to Kelty who was wide-open. From just to the right of the top of the key, Kelty drained the three-pointer with a shot that hit nothing but net.
North Hardin called a time-out at :04.6, but the half-court shot was well wide of the mark.
“During the first time-out we didn’t say much, we were just setting things up,” Bullitt East head coach Troy Barr said after the game. “It was the second time-out that was important.
“We just talked about situations,” the coach added. “If we were down two we were going for the win. Then at one or zero we’d led Adam create. We kicked it into Willie and Willie kicked it out. It makes me look smart.”
Barr admitted that he had not drawn that play up during the break.
“It’s a play we run about ten times in a game,” the coach said. “Adam is hard to guard in a game. When Willie gets doubled, it’s our best set to run.”
Kelty finished with a game high 22 points as he made seven of eight free throws and a trio of three-pointers. The Chargers also got 14 points each from Brandon Alphin and Moore.
Just a week earlier, Bullitt East had a four-game losing streak and had fallen below the .500 mark at 7-8. After beating the Trojans, Bullitt East was riding a three-game winning streak.
“Those four losses seem like years ago,” Barr said.
North Hardin had plenty of athletes including LaRod King who is set to sign a football scholarship with the University of Kentucky in the next few weeks.
“They might be the most athletic team we have played this year and one of the best,” Barr said. “I’m extremely happy with that win after seeing them. They were impressive on film, but not as impressive as in person.”
Greg Johnson led North Hardin (12-7) with 18 points.
Bullitt East had a major advantage at the foul line as they converted 24 of 30 chances. North Hardin was only 10 of 18.
North Bullitt Stumbles
Less than 24-hours after playing Bullitt Central, the North Bullitt Eagles had nothing left on Saturday afternoon as they were bombed by John Hardin 74-30. It was the second time in five days that the green and gold failed to score more than 30 points in a game.
This one was over early as the Eagles were down 27-10 after one quarter and the Bulldogs (13-3) pushed that to 45-12 by halftime.
North Bullitt was led by Travis Ridley with 13 points.
Bullitt Central Slowed
The Bullitt Central Cougars learned that their new uptempo attack style is very hard to do twice in 24-hours. After running past North Bullitt the night before, the Cougars didn’t have the same hop on Saturday, losing to Central Hardin 103-69.
The Cougars still had a lot of offense, but they could not slow down the Bruins. It was the second time in the past three games that Bullitt Central has allowed over 100 points in a game.
T.J. Flener led the Cougars with 13 points while Jesse Vittitoe collected 10 points.
Daniel Linder had 19 points for Central Hardin (11-5).
Outback Steakhouse 5th/6th Region Challenge
At Bullitt East
BULLITT EAST 71 (20-18-18-15) Adam Kelty 22, Tyler Downs 7, Haydon Sweat 6, Brandon Alphin 14, Grant Polson 8, Willie Moore 14.
NORTH HARDIN 69 (21-17-13-18) Irvin 6, King 4, Bramblett 4, Rol. Emerson 9, Johnson 18, Thompson 8, Roo. Emerson 7, Berry 13.
NORTH BULLITT 30 (10-2-10-8) Travis Ridley 13, Brandon Goeing 3, Cody Purtilar 2, ustin Higdon 7, Matt Mudd 4, Tyler Shewmaker 1.
JOHN HARDIN 74 (27-18-14-15) Williams 7, Baker 15, Randolph 12, Givens 5, White 13, Moore 5, Mouncil 4, Richard 10, Coffer 3.
BULLITT CENTRAL 69 (16-16-21-16) Caleb Craddock 6, T.J. Flener 13, Damon Shepherd 3, Michael Kean 7, Jason Creason 9, Jeremy Bennett 2, Travis Stepp 3, Jordan Peercy 2, Jesse Vittitoe 10, Miciah Ocasio 9, Jon Sullivan 5.
CENTRAL HARDIN 103 (26-25-28-24) Glover 11, Todd 15, Edwards 14, Thompson 9, Linder 19, Harmon 11, Sheeran 1, Nichols 4, Lewis 2, Wilson 2, McDaniel 11, Squires 2, Barnett 2.