Odd day, great day for Bullitt East Chargers

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By Thomas Barr

 MOUNT WASHINGTON - The capacity crowd of nearly 3,000 people who packed Bullitt East High School on Sunday came to see a show.

An offensive show between future University of Louisville players Wayne Blackshear and Rodney Purvis was the main event.

However, if they stayed around for the nightcap in the Louisville Scholastic Play by Play Classic, they would have seen a wonderful defensive exhibition by the Bullitt East Chargers.

In what turned out to be a wonderful day of basketball for the community, Bullitt East met up with unusual circumstances on Sunday.

First, head coach Troy Barr had more duties than normal due to the headliner that drew a lot of newcomers to the community and a lot of media attention. That interrupted his normal pre-game routine.

Second, after a loud crowd for the meeting between Chicago Morgan Park and Upper Room Christian, the Charger gym grew quiet in the nightcap. In fact, the Red Zone Rowdies were non-existent and the student group from Spencer County was much louder.

Third, the game was on a Sunday afternoon.

“The kids were very focused,” Barr said of the 74-47 victory over Spencer County. “I had my concerns about the day. Spencer County is a very good team.”

However, one of the best defensive performances of the season keyed a big Bullitt East victory over one of the top teams in the Eighth Region.

“We’ve been on this type of stage before,” Barr said of the big crowd. “I think that helped us. Spencer County may have been affected a little by it.”

The Chargers never trailed but the lead was only 16-10 at the end of the first quarter and 6-foot-8 Derek Willis was sitting on the bench with three fouls.

While the sophomore would not return in the half, Bullitt East slowly but surely widened the margin.

“Our defense was spectacular,” said Barr, whose team is now 18-5 on the season. “We took them out of what they wanted to do.”

Anytime Bullitt East needed a big bucket, Rusty Troutman stepped to the plate. The game MVP finished with 18 points, including four of eight from three-point land, six rebounds, a steal and five deflections.

“I said all season that Rusty is the heart and soul of this team,” said Barr. “The other players respect him.”

Corey Washburn was a presence inside with seven points and 11 rebounds. And Willis, although his playing time was limited due to foul trouble, scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Senior Hayden Sweat also had another solid game with 13 points and four assists, while point guard Trey Rakes had 10 points and six assists.

“We shot the ball well today,” said Barr. “But our defense was so good.”

With the big lead, Barr was able to play the entire bench as players scored.

“It was a good win,” said Barr. “Spencer County has been playing well.”

At this point in the season, Barr is feeling pretty good about the team’s progress, although he said there is still work to be done.

“You want to be peaking late in the season,” said Barr. “I think we’re rounding into form.”

Spencer County’s Logan Dunbar was the MVP for the Bears, who are now 16-5.


At Bullitt East

BULLITT EAST 74 (16-21-19-16) Rusty Troutman 18, Hayden Sweat 13, Derek Willis 11, Trey Rakes 10, Kory Caufield 8, Corey Washburn 7, Reese Hardin 3, Brett Hatfield 2, Luke Francke 1, Chris Embry 1.

SPENCER COUNTY 47 (10-14-10-13) Logan Dunbar 13, Chris Dunbar 10, Trey Watt 8, Brandon Miller 5, Jacob Hollar 4, Ros Goodwin 3, Konnor Barlow 2, Dennis Alex 2.