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LOUISVILLE - A year ago, the North Bullitt Eagles lost a lot of basketball games. For the most part, they were not very competitive in those contests.
Fast forward a year and the Eagles are still having trouble winning games. The good news is that the green and gold are very competitive.
Yes, it is frustrating for head coach Lee Barger. But it is a different type of frustration. The coach just feels that the team needs to overcome some minor mistakes to start winning big.
That was certainly the case last Tuesday as the Eagles were able to overcome a third quarter in which they scored just three points to stay within striking distance of Beth Haven on the road. The Eagles erased a six-point deficit, but then make mistakes down the stretch and lost 60-58.
“In the second half we let their best player take over,” Barger said of Stewart Washington who finished the game with 23 points.
“Still, we had chances at the end,” the coach said. “It was one or two points at the end. We just made some little mistakes that if we correct we can win games like this.”
It was close throughout the first half. In fact, the two teams were separated by just one point after the first quarter and the same single point at halftime. But then in the third quarter the Bears outscored the Eagles 12-3 to take a 50-40 lead.
North Bullitt roared back behind the outside shooting of senior Travis Ridley. The guard connected on a trio of three pointers in the final frame as he scored 11 of his 13 points in the final eight minutes.
That was enough to get the green and gold within two points in the final minute and they had the ball. Twice in the final 20 seconds they got three-point shots, but they could not get those shots to fall.
North Bullitt was led in scoring by senior James Whitfill who also had three three-pointers in the contest.
Kenton Aubrey tossed in 13 points while sophomore Brandon Goeing scored all ten of his points in the second quarter.
“We had some chances to tie the game or take the lead at the end,” Barger pointed out. “We just made too many little mistakes when it counted.”
The loss dropped North Bullitt to 1-2 while Beth Haven won for the second time in as many outings.
North Bullitt played 24th District rival Fairdale last Friday. The Eagles will be back in action on Tuesday when they play host to Spencer County. That will be the final tune-up for the Eagles before they play host to arch-rival Bullitt Central on Friday.
At Beth Haven
NORTH BULLITT 58 (19-18-3-18) Brandon Goeing 10, Travis Ridley 13, Jared Slaughter 2, Tony Majors 2, James Whitfill 15, Kenton Aubrey 13, James Sutton 3.
BETH HAVEN 60 (20-18-12-10) Bennett 19, Bischoff 4, Waddell 3, Lacefield 9, Washington 23, Pierce 2.