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HEBRON ESTATES - North Bullitt Lady Eagle head coach Amber Courtney was well aware that with a team with no seniors and only one junior, that there would be nights where her team would learn tough, but ultimately important, lessons.
Friday against Bullitt East, the state’s 23rd ranked team, was on of those nights.
The Lady Chargers were bigger, stronger, taller and more experienced as they rolled to a 66-34 victory that was not as close as the final score would indicate. Bullitt East had a 40-point advantage early in the fourth quarter.
Bullitt East, which was coming off a pair of early season losses to strong opponents, didn’t just force North Bullitt into bad shots. The Lady Chargers’ pressure defense didn’t allow the Lady Eagles to even take shots through much of the first three quarters.
Lady Charger head coach Chris Stallings knew that his team would win the game, but he was looking for more improvement for a team struggling with its own offense early in the season.
“I just think for us to play games and as long as we learn from each game and gain experience then that will help us down the road,” Stallings said after the game. “We’ll keep adding things as we go along.”
“We knew North Bullitt would be aggressive,” the veteran coach added. “It was an intra-county game. Those are always going to be intense.”
North Bullitt had played just one game this season heading into this contest and that didn’t help the Lady Eagles either.
“If we could have kept shooting and hitting we could have kept it closer,” Courtney said. “We dug a hole early and it was too big. We just don’t score consistently.”
There were times in the game where North Bullitt had as many as three seventh-graders on the floor at one time.
Even with all the negatives with experience and youthfulness, the final nail in the coffin is that Bullitt East has 6-foot-2 senior center Lindey Young and 5-11 senior forward Meredith Polson. Young scored 19 points and collected 13 rebounds while Polson scored 13 points.
The Lady Chargers also got 17 points from junior guard Nikole Isabel.
“We have no size,” Courtney said. “They killed us on the boards. We could do nothing underneath. I knew that would be an issue. That was no secret and there was nothing we could do.”
North Bullitt finished with 34 points and 28 of those came from two players. Freshman Savannah Morrison finished with 18 points after scoring 13 in the first half. Seventh-grader Katie Downey came off the bench and scored 10 points.
Morrison scored the first basket of the game, a three-pointer, but that was the only lead for the Lady Eagles. Bullitt East scored the next seven points and it was 20-8 by the end of the first quarter as Isabel drained a pair of three-pointers for the visitors.
Bullitt East then added the first nine points of the second frame and the outcome was no longer in doubt even when Morrison canned back-to-back three-pointers midway through the second frame.
“I thought we did a nice job moving the ball against their press,” Stallings said of what has been a weak spot to this point in the season for the Lady Chargers. “We still have to do a better job of attacking after we break the press.
“I was really pleased in that we had put some new things in during practice and we did those things tonight,” the coach added. “That was good to see.”
Bullitt East is fighting back from an illness bug. The team had only eight at practice on Wednesday, but that number improved to 17 on Thursday.
“Hopefully we’ll get better and feel better,” Stallings said.
The two teams will meet again on Jan. 21 in Mount Washington.
Bullitt East played Christian Academy earlier this week and that was the final tune-up before the team heads to the 16-team Berea Holiday Classic starting on Saturday.
North Bullitt did play at Kentucky Country Day earlier this week, but then the Lady Eagles will have another break before starting action in the Campbellsville Holiday Tournament next Monday.
At North Bullitt
BULLITT EAST 66 (20-16-24-6) Emily Fryman 1, Courtney Pfister 2, Ashley Duvall 6, Nikole Isabel 17, Whitney Stansbury 1, Sable Logsdon 2, Taylor Blain 5, Meredith Polson 13, Lindey Young 19.
NORTH BULLITT 34 (8-11-2-13) Savannah Morrison 18, Maria George 1, Holly White 3, Kasey McCoy 2, Katie Downey 10.
No Happy Meal
North Bullitt did get a little more experience for the season on Saturday when they traveled to Oldham County to take part in the Ronald McDonald’s Classic.
The Lady Eagles scored just eight points in the first quarter but then scored at least 13 points in each of the last three frames to stay in the game before dropping a 64-49 decision to the host school.
North Bullitt had more balanced scoring as Morrison scored 11 while George finished with eight points.
Oldham County freshman Ashley McMurtrey led all scorers in the game with 24 points.
At Oldham County
NORTH BULLITT 49 (8-13-14-14) Savannah Morrison 11, Maria George 8, Holly White 2, Kasey McCoy 6, Reba Stice 6, Caitlin Montgomery 5, Keeley Hughes 6, Belle Leonard 3, Bre Stewart 2.
OLDHAM COUNTY 64 (17-17-16-14) Hardin 9, Melton 8, Lenhard 5, McMurtrey 24, Rush 6, Stillman 2, Wishnevski 7, Lopesilvero 2, Middaugh 2.
Lady Chargers Roll
Bullitt East was back on the court Saturday night and they made quick work of 24th District rival Southern as the Lady Chargers bolted to a 40-4 lead in the first half before coasting to a 63-18 victory.
Stallings used his bench for most of the game and the Lady Chargers got balanced scoring. The only player in double figures was Young with 13 points and 11 rebounds while both Isabel and Blain scored nine points.
At Bullitt East
SOUTHERN 18 (2-2-5-9) Young 3, Daniel 6, Woods 2, Hilliard 2, Jackson 3, Foster 2.
BULLITT EAST 63 (24-16-15-8) Emily Fryman 7, Courtney Pfister 1, Ashley Duvall 4, Nikole Isabel 9, Carly Coulter 3, Sable Logsdon 3, Rachel Broughton 2, Taylor Blain 9, Meredith Polson 7, Lindey Young 13, Maggie Smith 1, Sara Stevens 4.