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MOUNT WASHINGTON - Playing just a few minutes before snow hit the area on Saturday, the Bullitt County Challenge saw the best that local girls’ basketball has to offer as the three Bullitt County teams showcased what they could do in three games against area teams in games played at Bullitt East.
This was the fourth year for the event as it rotated back to Bullitt East to start the series again.
All three games on Saturday came down to the wire with both North Bullitt and Bullitt Central able to pull out tight victories. Bullitt East took a tough loss as the red and gold dropped a 63-62 decision to Ohio County.
Lady Eagles Win Late
Just 18 hours after not being about to close out Bullitt Central despite leading in the fourth quarter, the North Bullitt Lady Eagles came from behind on Saturday to beat Taylor County 65-60 in overtime.
North Bullitt (12-7) scored the last three points in regulation to force the overtime at 55-55.
Taylor County then moved back ahead 59-57 in the extra period before back-to-back baskets by Savannah Morrison put North Bullitt ahead for good. The Lady Cardinals had a chance to tie the score with nine seconds remaining but could hit just one of two free throw chances. North Bullitt then put the game away with two free throws each from Katie Downey and Reba Stice.
The Lady Eagles won this one at the foul line. North Bullitt was 15 of 19 at the charity stripe for the game and the green and gold made eight of 11 chances in overtime.
“We’ve been very inconsistent in close games,” North Bullitt head coach Amber Courtney said. “It was tough last night. They adjusted and did exactly what I wanted them to do today.
“They are getting better with every game we play,” the coach added of her young team. “This is a team that is not used to close games. It’s a learning experience.”
Morrison once again led North Bullitt with 19 points after she scored 31 the night before. The Lady Eagles also got 16 points each from Downey and Holly White.
TAYLOR COUNTY 60 (14-14-15-12-5) Riggs 17, Orberson 8, Wright 18, Howard 10, Johnson 1, Miller 5, Floyd 1.
NORTH BULLITT 65 (10-17-13-15-10) Holly White 16, Savannah Morrison 19, Reba Stice 5, Caitlin Montgomery 4, Katie Downey 16, Kasey McCoy 2, Erin Dolan 2, Shelby Morrison 1.
Some of Everything
The second game on Saturday had a little bit of everything before Ohio County managed to rebuff a huge Bullitt East comeback in the second half to secure a 63-62 victory.
To start with, Bullitt East played just a horrible first half, scoring only 13 points as they fell behind by 21 points. That all changed in the third quarter as the red and gold put together a remarkable 34 point frame that included an 18 point surge in just three minutes of play.
Bullitt East even moved ahead 47-43 entering the fourth quarter and the Lady Chargers were still on top 60-59 before falling at the end when they failed to get off a shot in the final five seconds.
“This one did have a little bit of everything,” Bullitt East head coach Chris Stallings said after the game.
“The biggest thing for us was that I thought we were past the way we started this game,” the coach added. “We had no lack of competitiveness. Playing the teams that we play, when you come out giving the effort we gave, that’s the outcome you will get.”
In that first half, 12 of the 13 points for Bullitt East were scored by the Duvall sisters, Ashley and Lindsay. In fact, Lindsay Duvall had the only two baskets the team scored in the first half.
But that was a distant memory in the second half as Bullitt East exploded for 18 points in the first three minutes of the third quarter. That pulled the Lady Chargers within 34-31 and moments later, Stallings’ team went ahead for the first time on Emily Fryman’s basket with three minutes to play in the quarter.
From that point on, the lead was never more than four points for either team. Bullitt East had that at 47-43 entering the final quarter. Bullitt East’s last lead came at 60-59 when Lindsay Duvall scored. Ohio County then hit three free throws before Bullitt East’s Taylor Blain tied the game with two free throws with 25.8 seconds remaining.
Ohio County then ran the clock down to six seconds before calling a time-out. On the inbounds play, Fryman was whistled for her fifth foul and Ohio County’s McKenzee Tichnor put her team head with one free throw.
Bullitt East (9-9) had a last chance, but the team never even got off a final shot before the buzzer.
Lindsay Duvall had her best game yet as a Lady Charger as the seventh-grader scored 23 points. Older sister Ashley finished with 10 points.
Deanna Raley collected 23 points for Ohio County (10-7) while Tichnor had 13 points.
OHIO COUNTY 63 (21-13-9-20) Tichnor 13, Hoff 3, Autry 9, Raley 23, Hertzel 7, Jones 4, Parker 4.
BULLITT EAST 62 (5-8-34-15) Emily Fryman 7, Courtney Pfister 1, Lindsay Duvall, Ashley Duvall 10, Nikole Isabel 8, Cady Cornell 6, Taylor Blain 3, Kylee Willis 4.
Lady Cougars Rally
For the second time in less than 24 hours, the Bullitt Central Lady Cougars used a big fourth quarter to pick up a key win on Saturday as they rallied for a 56-48 victory over a very athletic Western team.
Bullitt Central (11-6) trailed 42-39 entering the fourth quarter and the maroon and gray were still down 46-43 with three minutes to play when the Lady Cougars’ guard combination of juniors Kayla Riggs and Selena Yunt came up with big plays to key an 11-2 run to close out the game.
Riggs started the late surge when a three-pointer from the top of the key. After Western called a time-out with 2:54 remaining, Yunt stepped in front of a pass and dribbled in for a lay-up to give Bullitt Central the lead for good. The late run continued when Riggs hit a short jumper and then at the other end, Riggs made a steal and fed Yunt for a lay-up that moved the lead out 52-46.
In the final 60 seconds, Riggs scored four more points to push her total to 24 for the game. A night earlier against North Bullitt, Riggs had scored 21 points.
“We gutted this one out,” Bullitt Central head coach Bryan Bates said. “We didn’t have a lot in the tank for this one (after playing North Bullitt the night before). We found a good way to win at the end.”
Riggs is making big plays for Bullitt Central at key times.
“She has shown flashes of brilliance this year,” Bates said. “She did again tonight. She took over in the last four minutes tonight. She and Selena both did that.”
Western (8-6) had a pair of 6-footers to put on the court and in the first half the Lady Warriors had a 28-11 rebounding edge. After a big talk at halftime, Bullitt Central reversed that in the second half, outrebounding their foes 20-14.
“That was our focus at halftime,” Bates noted. “We got them by six in the second half. That was important.”
Early in the season, Bullitt Central got very little support off the bench. That group has steadily improved and the team got 12 points off the bench in this game including eight points from Emily Ratliff.
“Our bench kept us in the game in the first half,” Bates pointed out. “We were in foul trouble again and they kept us in it.”
WESTERN 48 (14-12-16-6) Higgens 7, Lewis 3, Reliford 6, Lowe 10, Matthews 7, Calvert 13, Doyle 2.
BULLITT CENTRAL 56 (9-16-14-17) Kayla Riggs 24, Kristen Collins 6, Selena Yunt 7, Kaitlyn McKnight 4, Seaera Minyard 3, Kristyn Harned 3, Emily Ratliff 8, Casey Renfrow 1.