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PRP final hurdle for BE

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By Mike Farner

 LOUISVILLE -- The Bullitt East Chargers will go for a second boys’ regional basketball crown on Monday night when they take on Pleasure Ridge Park in the championship game of the Sixth Region Tournament at Bellarmine University’s Knight’s Hall.

Coach Troy Barr’s team will take the court at 7 p.m. in the only game played that night at Bellarmine (the Seventh Region final will be played on Tuesday night) so there should be plenty of room for Bullitt East fans.

Bullitt East’s only previous regional title came in 2005 when the red and gold upset Scott County in the Eighth Region final at Henry County High School. That was the last year that the Chargers played in the Eighth Region. This is the last year the Chargers are playing in the Sixth Region as they will move to the Seventh Region next season.

After beating Iroquois and Western in the loaded bottom half of the bracket, the Chargers now face the highest ranked team in the Sixth Region for most of the year. The Panthers are ninth in the computer numbers while Bullitt East is 14th.

The Chargers had played Iroquois and Western during the regular season, but facing the Panthers will be something new to the red and gold this season. In fact, except for a first game loss to Pleasure Ridge Park in the 2005 Louisville Invitational Tournament, Bullitt East has very little basketball history with the Panthers.

Coach Dale Mabrey’s team, which last won a Sixth Region title in 2006, has already beaten Shawnee and Butler in the this year’s tournament. In the 60-48 victory (it was 51-48 with three minutes to play) over Butler on Friday, the Panthers got 16 points from junior Max Clemons and 12 points each from Jake Simpson and Jeril Taylor.

Pleasure Ridge Park has a 21-8 record and have won eight in a row. The Panthers won the 21st District title with a 75-72 victory over Western.

Both PRP and Bullitt East have played a number of common opponents, but there is really nothing to gain from a comparison. PRP is 13-3 against Sixth Region foes while Bullitt East is 15-1 (the only setback being an away loss to Iroquois). 

Bullitt East has won 14 straight.