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Lady Chargers bolt out of the gate to win

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By Mike Farner

 MOUNT WASHINGTON - A year ago, the Bullitt East Lady Chargers lost the season-opening game to Presentation, only once got back over the .500 mark but were still one of the best teams in the Sixth Region.

Move ahead a year. On Tuesday, the red and gold opened the 2012-13 season at home and this time had no trouble turning back Presentation 58-37. This just a year after losing to the Toppers 57-53.

Bullitt East did it on Tuesday using a balanced attack that had only junior point guard Emily Fryman scoring in double-digits with 13 points. All 11 of the Lady Charger players that dressed for the game scored at least a point.

“We had more positive notes than negative notes,” veteran Bullitt East head coach Chris Stallings said after the win. “It’s nice to get off on the right foot. But, we have a long way to go, especially our turnovers.”

It is always nice to finally start playing the games with a win on the line.

“We just wanted to play,” Stallings pointed out. “It’s nice to open at home. We had a nice crowd. Our first three games are at home. That’s good.

“We started out with a loss last year,” the coach added. “It’s good to open with a win.”

Presentation was coming off a 16-16 season that saw them fall by five points to Assumption in the first-round of the Seventh Region Tournament.

Bullitt East never trailed in the game as they scored the first six points of the contest. Still, Presentation was within 12-10 heading into the second quarter when the Lady Chargers put it into high gear and went on a 19-5 surge that broke the game open.

Fryman scored the first eight points of the second quarter for Bullitt East, including a pair of three-pointers. On the other end, Bullitt East closed out the first half with five straight points by senior Sara Stevens.

The strong play continued early in the second half when Fryman and teammate Taylor Blain each drilled a three-pointer. Not even a 10-2 run by the Toppers could get them back any closer than 12 points in the second half.

The only bump in the road in the eyes of Stallings was a short spurt early in the second half when Presentation connected on a pair of uncontested three-pointers.

“We had a few things to discuss that we had to adjust to,” Stallings said diplomatically of the time-out. “I thought defensively we didn’t do a bad job overall. I don’t know how many she had, but we wanted to key on (number) 24.”

That player was junior Aliyah Johnson, who did finish with a game-high 25 points. Johnson converted 14 of 19 chances at the foul line. Otherwise, no other Presentation player scored more than seven points.

Bullitt East’s major adjustments came at the end of the first quarter.

“We tried to adjust the press a little bit,” Stallings said. “We had some nice surges there. We wanted to find 24 and stay on her. I thought we did a good job defensively rebounding but we would like to have some more of our misses back.”

The Lady Chargers finished with a 39-21 rebounding edge, led by seven each from junior Cady Cornell and Mackenzie Bass.

Bullitt East finished with six three-pointers in the game while Presentation made only four. The Lady Chargers did shoot 48 percent from inside the arc but they struggled to convert only 24 percent of their shots from three-point range. That totaled out to 37.5 percent for the game.

Presentation was off line most of the night, making just eight of 36 shots.

At Bullitt East

PRESENTATION 37 (10-5-13-9) Lindsey 1, Johnson 25, Kolb 7, Degner 2, Hibbs 4.

BULLITT EAST 58 (12-19-14-13) Emily Fryman 13, Courtney Pfister 5, Lindsey Duvall 8, Kaleigh Sharpe 2, Cady Cornell 8, Taylor Williamson 4, Taylor Blain 6, Kylee Willis 4, Raegan Williams 1, Sara Stevens 5, Mackenzie Bass 2.

BE Rolls On

Just two nights later, Bullitt East got to reverse another loss from last season when Martha Layne Collins paid a visit. The new school in Shelby County had beaten the Lady Chargers 43-41 a year ago, but this time Bullitt East pulled away from a 20-20 score midway through the second quarter to win 63-50.

The game was played on Thursday night which was a night earlier than it had originally been planned. The move was made as the Titans’ football team was going to play for the Class 5-A state football title on Friday against Highlands.

In this game, the scoring was not as balanced for Bullitt East but that didn’t matter as eighth-grader Lindsey Duvall came off the bench and scored 21 points in only 15 minutes of action. Duvall made seven of her 11 shots and was five of seven at the foul line.

Bullitt East also got 12 points and eight rebounds from Pfister as well as ten points from Blain. Willis finished with a game high 11 rebounds as the Lady Chargers managed a narrow 36-33 edge on the boards.

Both teams struggled to find consistent offense. The Lady Titans made just 12 of 46 shots from the field while Bullitt East was 22 of 55 for 40 percent. At the free throw line, the Lady Titans missed 14 chances (21 of 35) while Bullitt East did make 11 of its 14 attempts.

Bullitt East will be at home for a third straight time on Tuesday when they play host to defending Sixth Region champion Butler. This will be the first meeting between the two powerhouses since the Bearettes scored the last six points in last year’s Sixth Region semi-finals en route to a 50-48 victory. The last two points scored with only two seconds remaining.

This will be a boy/girl doubleheader with the boys’ game to be played first at 6 p.m. The girls’ game will then follow.

At Bullitt East

MARTHA LAYNE COLLINS 50 (13-13-12-12) Pullin 10, Borders 3, Rankin 2, Roberts 7, Buckmaster 5, Clemens 10, Wells 13.

BULLITT EAST 63 (17-18-17-11) Emily Fryman 9, Courtney Pfister 12, Lindsey Duvall 21, Kaleigh Sharpe 3, TaylorBlain 10, Kylee Willis 6, Sara Stevens 2.