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Late rally gives the Lady Eagles a holiday victory

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By Mike Farner

CARROLLTON - You can take the North Bullitt Lady Eagles out of the Eighth Region, but you can’t take the Eighth Region out of the Lady Eagles.

When veteran North Bullitt head coach Bill Robinette went looking for a holiday tournament for his team this season, he found one with a lot of familiar faces when he entered the North American Stainless Basketball Classic at Carroll County High School. Five of the eight teams in the event are former Eighth Region foes before North Bullitt was shifted to the Sixth Region three years ago.

As it turned out, North Bullitt squared off against three of those former foes. On the court, the results were mixed as the Lady Eagles posted a 1-2 record and finished seventh.

North Bullitt opened with a 41-32 loss to Owen County, a team that eventually reached the championship game before falling to the host team in the final. The Lady Eagles then dropped a 49-39 decision to Gallatin County before rallying in the second half of the seventh-place game to beat Trimble County 41-32.

The obvious highlight was the victory over Trimble County, but that wasn’t assured until the closing minute. North Bullitt trailed 22-10 midway through the third quarter before deciding to make a move.

Behind the play of senior Chelsea Hoke, who scored all 15 of her points in the second half, the Lady Eagles pulled within 26-25 heading into the fourth quarter and then held the Lady Raiders to six points over the final eight minutes to secure the green and gold’s third victory of the season.

“We just picked up our intensity,” Robinette said of the late comeback. “We hadn’t played hard and then we started to run the floor.

“We just weren’t playing hard,” the coach said of the first 20 minutes of the game. “Our intensity picked up greatly. We didn’t play hard early.”

It also helped that North Bullitt started knocking down some shots.

“Things get easier if we can score some points,” Robinette pointed out. “Just getting open shots isn’t everything for us. We have to hit some shots and then that opened things up.”

In the win over Trimble County the Lady Eagles also got 11 points from junior Breanna Kuffner along with eight points from Ashley Goeing.

It had not been a good second half the day before in a 49-39 setback to Gallatin County. North Bullitt was up 20-18 at halftime, but then scored just six points in the third quarter and could not recover.

Goeing led the way in that game with 13 points while Hoke finished with 10 points.

The tournament started for the Lady Eagles with a 41-32 setback to Owen County. Amazingly, Owen County scored just ten points in the second half, but still pulled out the win. The Rebels had raced out to a 31-19 lead by halftime and North Bullitt could not make a move in the second half, scoring just 13 points.

North Bullitt went into a short Christmas break with a 3-4 overall record, but Robinette is seeing some improvement.

“Last week was good in a sense,” the coach said of the 1-2 mark in Carrollton. “We saw some things that we have to work on. We played three teams that if we play well we could play with. We have to play hard. We have to learn to dribble with our head up and look before we pass.

“I see some improvement over the first week (of the season),” the coach added. “That’s all you can ask for.”

North American Stainless Basketball Classic

At Carroll County HS

First Round

NORTH BULLITT 32 (10-9-6-7) Breanna Kuffner 2, Holly White 4, Ashley Goeing 7, Christina Dilley 4, Chelsea Hoke 15.

OWEN COUNTY 41 (16-15-5-5) Grayheart 7, Kemper 15, Toole 3, Lowe 7, Weinscott 6, Davis 2, Hutchinson 1.

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Consolation Round

NORTH BULLITT 39 (10-10-6-13) Breanna Kuffner 7, Hunter Roeder 2, Holly White 1, Ashley Goeing 13, Christina Dilley 4, Mecenzie Ellis 2, Chelsea Hoke 10.

GALLATIN COUNTY 49 (9-9-17-14) Jones 17, Hill 8, Bilsilger 4, Beatty 6, Davis 7, Jones 2, Morris 5.

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Seventh-Place Game

NORTH BULLITT 41 (4-6-15-16) Breanna Kuffner 11, Holly White 2, Ashley Goeing 8, Christina Dilley 3, Mecenzie Ellis 2, Chelsea Hoke 15.

TRIMBLE COUNTY 32 (5-11-10-6) Ball 2, Callis 3, Griffith 4, Mitchell 10, Black 9, Long 4.