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HEBRON ESTATES - There weren’t any Cyndi Lauper look-a-likes in the crowd Thursday evening but North Bullitt coach Amber Courtney didn’t mind if her girls were having a little fun.
As the boys’ played the first game, members of the Lady Eagles were in the stands, dressed in their best beach attire and hitting beach balls with other students.
But when it was time to get serious, there was no play. It was all business as North Bullitt wrapped up the top seed in the district tournament with a 70-31 thrashing of the Southern Lady Trojans.
The victory gave North Bullitt a perfect 3-0 mark in the district and a 14-3 record. Its Litkenhous rating placed North Bullitt as the fourth best team in the Sixth Region.
For Courtney, there was no worry about having fun during the first game and playing an opponent that was not as talented.
“The girls came out focused,” said Courtney. “They knew home important this game was for us.”
After Kaitlin Wells drilled a three-pointer to open the game, Southern would never lead again.
Erin Dolan’s free throw broke a 5-5 tie and North Bullitt never looked back.
By the end of the first quarter, North Bullitt had raced out to a 25-7 advantage.
Eight different Lady Eagles hit the scoring column in the first period alone. For the game, 10 players would score with three in double figures.
Playing against an opponent the Lady Eagles should have beaten is one thing. To do what the coach wants to see in a game such as that is another.
“We passed the ball very well,” said Courtney. “We had been winning but we got away from some of the team ball.”
On Thursday, Courtney was very pleased with the sharing of the ball. Even on the next to last play, a nice assist led to an easy basket for Devyn Tompkins.
“Very pleased,” said Courtney. “We did much better tonight.”
Defensively, Courtney went away from the full-court pressure. Instead, she wanted to work on the team’s half-court defense.
Whenever the pressure was dialed up, Southern found it hard to get any shots.
It was a game full of steals and deflections for the Lady Eagles. For the night, North Bullitt forced 25 Southern turnovers.
“I thought we did a good job on defense,” said Courtney. “We put pressure on them and we moved well on defense.”
With such a big early advantage, Courtney did something she enjoys doing -- playing the bench.
“Our bench has been very productive all season,” said Courtney. “We need to have all the kids ready to play.”
When the reserves were on the floor, Courtney said they are doing very good things and they continue to run the offense.
Going into the season, the Lady Eagles were tabbed the best team in the district. The first goal of securing the top seed has been accomplished.
But with three weeks to go in the regular season, Courtney said her team must realize that it is now the target and they must defend that reputation every game.
“I think the girls have handled it real well,” said Courtney. “They know that now they must be the ones who handle some of that pressure.”
At NORTH BULLITT (25-14-18-13) 70 - Erin Dolan 11, Megan Goeing 11, Devyn Tompkins 10, Savannah Morrison 9, Katie Downey 9, Maria George 6, Rachel Badgett 6, Lauren Deel 6, Kelsey Rakes 2
Southern (5-7-7-10) 31 - Hilliard 16, Wells 6, Lee 4, Bell 3, Wright 2