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Poor shooting again haunts Lady Chargers in LIT

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Girls' Basketball

By Thomas Barr

 LOUISVILLE - While the weather was warming up outside, the shooting percentage for the Bullitt East Lady Chargers was sub-freezing on Friday.

In the quarterfinal of the Republic Bank/Coca Cola Louisville Invitational at Bellarmine University, Bullitt East fell to the Franklin County Flyers 53-42.

While disappointed, Bullitt East veteran coach Chris Stallings was not ready to give up on his young team after falling to the seventh-ranked team in the state.

“I was really pleased with our defensive effort,” said Stallings. “We were able to slow them down.”

Coming into the game, Stallings knew Franklin County had very athletic players who could both drive to the basket and spot up for jumpers.

What turned out to be a key was that Franklin County was able to drive to the basket and get to the free throw line.

The Lady Chargers could get no closer than three points in the second half and its last lead was at 9-7 at the 3:10 mark of the first quarter.

Shooting just 30.2 percent for the game and only 25.9 percent in the second half, Stallings said the team must work more on being aggressive against zone defenses.

“They hit more free throws than we attempted,” Stallings said.

The Lady Flyers were just 15 of 30 on the charity line, while Bullitt East was seven of 11.

“We just didn’t hit enough shots,” said Stallings. “If you can’t hit, you have to get to the foul line.”

From three-point range, Bullitt East hit just three of 19 for a cool 15 percent. In the second half, it was just one of 13.

Freshman Lindsey Duvall led the Lady Chargers with 24 points; however, that came on nine of 21 shooting from the field. Raegan Williams was the next highest scorer for Bullitt East with six points off the bench.

Stallings said he felt there was enough balance and enough able scorers. The team must hit shots or attack the basket.

“It’s not like we didn’t just play a quality team,” said Stallings. “That is why we like to play in this situation. It helps us get better playing against one of the best teams in the state.”

And despite having two poor shooting games in the past couple of weeks, Stallings was not concerned.

“It’s about what we do from this point on,” said Stallings. “We have a very good team but we have a lot of things we can improve upon. Good teams improve.”

In the first half, Franklin County was settling for outside shots as the Bullitt East zone didn’t allow penetration.

The Lady Flyers hit four of eight three-point attempts in the opening half and hit four of five free throws. In the second half, the winners only attempted three treys, missing all three. However, by driving to the basket, the victors went to the line 25 times, hitting 11.

“We were down but they missed some free throws and we still had a chance to win the game,” said Stallings. “We had our chances.”

After Duvall hit a rebound shot to pull Bullitt East to within 45-41 with 3:229 to play, Franklin County pulled out the ball and opened up the floor to seal the victory.

During much of the second half, the strategy was to spread the floor and let its athletes to drive to the hoop.

Malaka Frank and Dasia Kilbourne put the dagger into the Lady Chargers.

Girls’ LIT at Bellarmine University

BULLITT EAST 42 (13-11-11-7) Lindsey Duvall 24, Raegan Williams 6, Mackenzie Bass 3, Taylor Blain 3, Courtney Pfister 2, Kaleigh Sharpe 2, Alyssa Peak 2

FRANKLIN COUNTY 53 (17-11-12-13) Dasia Kilbourne 17, Malaka Frank 11, Rebecca Cook 10, Nannilena White 9, Princess Stewart 6