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HEBRON ESTATES - Amber Courtney liked what she saw in the season opener for her North Bullitt Lady Eagles.
And the crowd assembled for the Monday night affair against Bardstown also seemed to enjoy the uptempo play from the Lady Eagles.
Thanks to a 21-2 third quarter advantage, North Bullitt walked away with a 77-45 victory over the Lady Tigers.
“Overall, I’m pleased with the effort,” said Courtney. “I like a lot of things I saw but there is still a lot to work on.”
Using a pressing defense and an uptempo offense, the Lady Eagles had no fear in firing up shots.
At the end of the night, all 10 players contributed and four finished in double figures.
“We are gritty,” said Courtney. “To play that style, we have to have a lot of energy.”
With Maria George and Katie Downing providing the early firepower, the host team jumped out to a 13-5 lead, which would stretch to 24-12 at the end of the quarter thanks to five straight points from Megan Goeing and a pair of free throws from Keeley Hughes.
Behind the play of BreAsia Spalding, Bardstown climbed back into the contest, cutting the margin to seven at one point.
However, Savannah Morrison took over before halftime to score five of her game-high 22 points. When Rachel Badgett hit a layup, North Bullitt went into the locker room with a 43-29 lead.
It was then that Courtney gave one of those halftime speeches coaches would like to bottle up and sell to the highest bidder.
Talking about the need to apply more defensive pressure and to look for better shots on the offensive end, the Lady Eagles responded.
North Bullitt would outscore the visitors 21-2 in that third period.
“We had a nice third quarter,” Courtney said, stating the obvious. “We really had good pressure and we did a lot of good things on offense.”
Ironically, Spalding would score the first two points of the quarter at the 6:26 mark. It would be the final Lady Tiger points.
Badgett hit a layupand Erin Dolan followed with a short shot. George would hit two charity tosses and Badgett got free inside once again.
After Morrison hit a pair of free throws, Downing nailed a three-pointer as part of her 11-point night.
The romp was on.
“They have the green light to shoot but we want them to take good shots,” said Courtney. “I thought we passed the ball very well tonight.”
“We do like to shoot the ball,” Courtney said with a smile.
For a team which must wisely use its 10-player roster, Courtney said one of her biggest tasks this year will be to know when to rotate players.
“We have to play full-court basketball and that takes a lot of energy,” said the coach. “As long as I stay focused on our rotations, we’ll be OK.”
For the game, Morrison led the way with 22 points. George (15 points), Goeing (13) and Downing (11) all reached double digits.
For the Lady Tigers, Spalding had a big night with 22 points. Kasia Stone added 16.
At NORTH BULLITT (24-12-21-13) 77 - Savannah Morrison 22, Maria George 15, Megan Goeing 13, Katie Downing 11, Erin Dolan 8, Rachel Badgett 6, Keeley Hughes 2
Bardstown (12-17-2-14) 45 - BreAsia Spalding 22, Kasia Stone 16, Caresha Allen 3, Alexis Hurst 2, Tocoya Hughley 2