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SHEPHERDSVILLE - The Bullitt Central Lady Cougars picked up a key 24th District victory on Friday, but that was the highlight of the weekend as both the boys’ and girls’ teams lost other games.
The Lady Cougars started with the highlight, beating Fairdale 64-59 in a game that assured them of one of the top two seeds in the upcoming 24th District Tournament at North Bullitt starting on Feb. 23. More importantly, the win put into place a winner-take-all game against Bullitt East next Friday in Shepherdsville for the number one seed and the important spot away from Fairdale in the semi-finals.
Unfortunately, the maroon and gray were not able to build on that success over the weekend. On Saturday night, the Lady Cougars had one of their worst halves of the season as they scored only 11 points after halftime in a 49-33 loss to South Oldham.
That loss snapped Bullitt Central’s five-game winning streak.
On the boys’ side, Bullitt Central kept running, but Fairdale ran more on Friday as the Bulldogs, the two-time defending district champions, beat the Cougars 99-79.
While the weekend was not perfect, it was good enough on Friday to accomplish the top goal for the Lady Cougars, earning a meaningful rematch with Bullitt East for the top spot in the district seeding process. Bullitt East beat the Lady Cougars 62-39 back on Dec. 4, but a victory by coach Bryan Bates team would give Bullitt Central the tie-breaker if each team finishes with one loss.
First, Bullitt Central had to get past Fairdale, a team they had beaten 55-46 on the road back in early December.
This was a closer battle. In fact, Bullitt Central trailed 50-42 entering the fourth quarter before putting on a furious rally that saw them outscore the Lady Bulldogs 22-9 over the final eight minutes of the game.
The game was tied at 30-30 at halftime, but Bullitt Central had been outscored 20-12 in the third quarter.
Bullitt Central’s top three scorers this season each had a big game, accounting for over 80 percent of the team’s scoring. Senior Lindsay Hester finished with 22 points while Qualeatha Bennett, a junior, had 19 points. Sophomore guard Keoka Hilliard added another 13 points.
Fairdale got 27 points from Wenisha Mack just three days after she scored 33 against North Bullitt. The Lady Bulldogs also got 18 points from Kayla Thompson, but the two high scorers had just three points in the fourth quarter.
A night later there was nothing but frustration for the Lady Cougars as they were beaten by South Oldham 49-33.
The game was disappointing in two regards. First, that Bullitt Central scored just 11 points in the second half including just two in the third quarter. In addition, the Lady Cougars had beaten South Oldham 61-57 in the first round of the Lady Wolverine Holiday Classic over the holidays.
Bennett had 10 points for Bullitt Central, but Hester had one of her lowest scoring games of the season as she had just eight points.
Bullitt Central was not scheduled to play early this week but will be at home on Friday to take on Spencer County on a night that will be homecoming for the school.
At Bullitt Central
FAIRDALE 59 (12-18-20-9) Toogood 4, Mack 27, Thompson 18, Gaines 5, Ashby 5.
BULLITT CENTRAL 64 (14-16-12-22) Lindsay Hester 22, Qualeatha Bennett 19, Janie Baumgardner 3, Keoka Hilliard 13, Valerie Terry 2, Logan Wood 2, Kaitlyn McKnight 3.
At Bullitt Central
SOUTH OLDHAM 49 (7-15-10-17) Whitefield 9, McGuffin 11, Haysley 2, Bray 14, Williams 2, Dye 4, Wright 2, Housley 1, Gamsky 2, Eldridge 2.
BULLITT CENTRAL 33 (9-13-2-9) Lindsay Hester 8, Qualeatha Bennett 10, Janie Baumgardner 5, Keoka Hilliard 3, Valerie Terry 4, Logan Wood 2, Danielle Biven 1.
Too Much Bulldogs
The Fairdale Bulldogs just had too much athletic ability for Bullitt Central on Friday as they ran with the Cougars to the tune of a 99-79 victory.
This was the third time in the past six games since Bullitt Central went to the run at all costs offense that they have given up as many as 99 points.
The problem came in the first half when Fairdale raced out to a 53-25 lead and never looked back. Bullitt Central outscored the Bulldogs in each of the last two quarters.
T.J. Flener led all scorers in the game with a season-high 37 which included four three-pointers. Unfortunately, no other Bullitt Central player scored more than eight points.
Quintrel Morris finished with 31 points for Fairdale.
At Bullitt Central
FAIRDALE 99 (24-29-25-21) Mack 20, Stroud 15, May 2, Claypool 6, Lewis 9, Morris 31, Fahringer 14, Williams 2.
BULLITT CENTRAL 79 (13-12-26-28) Caleb Craddock 6, T.J. Flener 37, Jesse Vittitoe 8, Jason Creason 8, Mike Kean 5, Jeremy Bennett 2, Corey Brown 3, Jordan Peercy 3, Miciah Ocasio 3, Travis Stepp 4.