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Opponents take the challenge with sweep of Bullitt County Challenge

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Girls' Basketball

By Mike Farner

  SHEPHERDSVILLE - The Bullitt County Challenge was apparently just that for the three local teams.

In the three-game event hosted by Bullitt Central High School on Saturday, each of the local teams left on the short end of the score.

In the past this event has been played in January, but because of some other commitments, the three game ‘showcase’ was moved to before the Christmas break. All three of the Bullitt County teams had played the night before.

Bullitt East

The first half of the first game of the Bullitt County Challenge had the feel of something out of Dr. Seuss as the malfunctioning clocks were running backwards. The quarters started with the settings at :00 and then the quarters were played to 8:00.

That didn’t seem to bother Meade County as the Lady Waves jumped out to a 28-23 halftime advantage against Bullitt East. The clock was fixed at halftime and while the Lady Chargers had a number of chances in the second half, they could not get any closer than five points before falling 57-48.

Bullitt East trailed by nine points early in the fourth quarter but when eighth-grader Lindsey Duvall nailed a three-pointers, the Lady Chargers were within 42-37 with 3:34 to play. On the next trip down the floor, Meade County worked the ball inside to Maya Luney. The senior powered her way to the basket over a Bullitt East defender. No call was made on that play, but then the visitors grabbed the rebound and scored while being fouled. Luney then converted the three-point play.

The Lady Chargers could get no closer than six points down the stretch and the margin grew as Meade County converted 16 of 21 free throws in the fourth quarter.

“I thought our second half was more energetic than the first,” Bullitt East head coach Chris Stallings said. “We felt like we played at their pace a lot of the first half.”

Still, Bullitt East had chances midway through the second half, but just could not convert on offense.

“We didn’t take advantage of some chances,” Stallings said. “In the third and early fourth quarter we had chances to get closer. We would have a turnover or give up a rebound. I know that hurt us. Against that defense we shouldn’t make those turnovers.”

Bullitt East was again led by Duvall as she came off the bench and scored 15 points. Courtney Pfister was the only other Lady Charger in double figures with 10 points.

Meade County got 17 points from Raley Johnson and 13 from Morgan Turner.

The visitors converted 33 of 41 free throw chances while Bullitt East was only nine of 13.

At Bullitt Central

MEADE COUNTY 57 - Lynch 5, Cucino 10, Johnson 17, Turner 13, Aebersold 2, Luney 10.

BULLITT EAST 48 - Emily Fryman 4 Courtney Pfister 10, Lindsey Duvall 15, Taylor Williamson 2, Taylor Blain 7, Mackenzie Bass 2, Kylee Willis 5, Raegan Williams 3.

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Bullitt Central

Bullitt Central coach Kyle Roach’s team appeared to be in good shape after clawing back to within three points at intermission.

However, the Shelby County Lady Rockets got hot and the Lady Cougar offense went dry in the third quarter.

Not finished, the host team fought back from a 16-point deficit but just couldn’t get over the hump in a 52-45 setback.

Down by 16 entering the final period, Haley Johns drilled a three-pointer to get the comeback started.

Over the next five minutes, Bullitt Central would get a pair of three-pointers from Kristen Collins, another one from Kayla Riggs and clutch free throws from Johns, Katie Hutchison and Selena Yunt.

Down 45-41 with 2:30 left to play, Bullitt Central was called for a three-second lane violation and Shelby County’s Katie Hudgins then hit two free throws to expand the lead to six.

Collins drove through the lane for the basket and then converted a free throw to cut the margin to 47-44 with 1:57 left.

Mackenzie Raizor then got free for a layup to seal the victory.

“I guess I’m learning not to schedule on Saturday,” first-year Bullitt Central head coach Kyle Roach said. “We didn’t play well against Elizabethtown and we didn’t play well with Shelby County. We just went through the motions. It took us forever to be aggressive.”

Roach isn’t worried so much about Saturday games as he is playing twice in less than 24-hours.

“I think that is definitely some of it,” Roach pointed out. “Next year when I have more power over the schedule I’ll try to stay away from that.”

Bullitt Central scored 22 points through the first three quarters and then had 23 points in the fourth frame.

Collins was the only Bullitt Central player in double figures with 13 points as she connected on four three-pointers. The maroon and gray also had eight points from Selena Yunt.

Mackenzie Raizor led all scorers in the game with 19 points.

Shelby County connected on 22 of 34 free throws while Bullitt Central was only 11 of 17.

At Bullitt Central

SHELBY COUNTY 52 (16-4-18-14) Martin 11, Hudgens 10, S. Raizor 4, M. Raizor 19, Simmons 8.

BULLITT CENTRAL 45 (9-8-5-23) Kayla Riggs 5, Kristen Collins 13, Selena Yunt 8, Belle Leonard 4, Kristyn Harned 3, Haley Johns 5, Katie Hutchison 5.

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North Bullitt

The North Bullitt Lady Eagles, coming off a tough overtime loss the night before, looked primed to get back into the win column.

In fact, the Lady Eagles trailed for only 40 seconds of the contest against the Presentation Toppers. Unfortunately, those 40 seconds were the final ticks on the game clock.

Presentation overcame an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to claim a 54-51 victory in the nightcap.

Lady Eagle coach Amber Courtney said her team’s mental part of the game cost them the victory.

Courtney said 27 turnovers won’t allow a team to win many ballgames. On top of that, the Lady Eagles struggled all night with its shooting.

“We’ve been shooting the ball well but not tonight,” said Courtney, whose team fell to 4-3. “But it is still early in the season.”

Still a young team in terms of age, Courtney said the players are having trouble dealing with a reverse situation where they are playing with the lead and not fighting from behind.

“We are still learning to play with the lead,” said Courtney.

She was still upset with the team’s lack of ability to get to the loose balls and not getting the ball into the post.

When post players Kasey McCoy and Caitlin Montgomery worked to get position, they were hard to stop. However, Courtney said the other players must do a better job of getting them the ball and the inside players have to work harder to get position.

“If we can get the ball in there, we do a good job,” said Courtney.

It was a pair of turnovers down the stretch that opened the door for Presentation. Meredith Degner nailed a three-pointer with 40 seconds left to give the Toppers a 52-51 lead.

The dagger was struck when Degner missed the front end of a bonus. However, Peyton Andres worked her way inside to get the rebound and scored the followup for a 54-51 lead with 21 seconds left.

After a North Bullitt turnover, Degner again missed the front end of the bonus with four seconds remaining. Savannah Morrison got a good look at a tying three-pointer at the buzzer but it fell just short.

At Bullitt Central

NORTH BULLITT 51 (11-8-17-15) - Caitlin Montgomery 14, Kasey McCoy 11, Savannah Morrison 10, Erin Dolan 6, Katie Downey 4, Maria George 4, Shelby Morrison 2.

PRESENTATION 54 (8-6-15-25) - Aliyah Johnson 13, Meredith Degner 13, Amelia Kolb 6, Alex Hibbs 6, Tracey Lindsey 5, Emily Schroeder 5, Allie Harris 4, Peyton Andres 2. 

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Other scores from a busy weekend:

At North Bullitt

HOLY CROSS 85 (13-22-27-17-6) - Weber 2, S. Morabito 27, Hockman 11, Epperson 20, Miller 13, Lockwood 4, O. Morabito 6, Blackwell 2.

NORTH BULLITT 83 (23-20-23-13-4) - Savannah Morrison 22, Katie Downey 17, Rea Stice 11, Kasey McCoy 10, Cailtlin Montgomery 5, Erin Dolan 11, Maria George 7.

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At Central

BULLITT EAST 64 (13-16-19-16) - Emily Fryman 11, Courtney Pfister 4, Lindsey Duvall 20, Kaleigh Sharpe 4, Cady Cornell 7, Taylor Williamson 2, Taylor Blain 7, Kylee Willis 8, Sara Stevens 1.

CENTRAL 57 (15-16-9-17) - Evans 4, Delgado 4, Packett 3, Hawkins 14, Thomas 2, Barnes 8, Johnson 2, Jones 20.

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At Iroquois

BULLITT CENTRAL 66 (17-11-19-19) - Kayla Riggs 23, Kristen Collins 12, Selena Yunt 5, Belle Leonard 12, Shelby Flener 2, Stephanie Still 1, Haley Johns 3, Chasity Hodge 4, Katie Hutchison 4.

IROQUOIS 39 (8-11-12-8) - Allen 6, Pryor 16, Brown 3, Small 4, Render 4, Reed 6