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Southern stuns Chargers; Lady Chargers win big

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By Mike Farner

MOUNT WASHINGTON - With a chance to take a huge step toward the top seed in the 24th District Tournament, the Bullitt East Chargers instead put themselves in a dangerous hole on Tuesday when they lost a 65-60 decision to Southern.

Coach Troy Barr's team was the only undefeated team remaining in the boys' bracket and the Chargers had already beaten the Trojans 61-46 less than a month earlier in Jefferson County.

After this game, both teams have one district loss, but they do not meet again during the regular season. Southern would no own the tie-breaker in a head-to-head meeting with Bullitt East because they won the second meeting.

In the girls' game on Tuesday, the Bullitt East Lady Chargers made it look easy as they pounded Southern 74-26.

Chargers Fall Late

The game was tied at 26-26 at halftime and Bullitt East had a two-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough as Southern (9-6) exploded for 28 points over the final eight minutes as they rallied past the Chargers for a 65-60 victory in Mount Washington.

None of those points were any bigger than back-to-back three-pointers by Southern junior Chris Richard midway through the fourth quarter. That put the Trojans up by seven points and Bullitt East could not make a comeback.

It was the third straight loss for the Chargers as they dropped to 7-7 for the season.

"They have gotten better and improved," Barr said of the Trojans. "They are 5-3 since we beat them. They played Trinity extremely close in a Christmas tournament and got some nice wins in Florida."

Richard has hurt Bullitt East in the past at key times.

"He hit those two threes back-to-back and that sealed it for them," the coach said later in the week. "That made it a seven point game and we were fighting back the rest of the way."

The coach is wanting to get more practice in the coming days.

"I think we have to get back in the gym and get to work," Barr said. "It's not major stuff. It's a shot here or a rebound there. It's stuff we can do. It's not a lack of talent."

Richard finished with 12 points for Southern while teammate Maurice Thomas collected 19 points.

Willie Moore led the Chargers with 19 points while fellow seniors Adam Kelty and Tyler Downs finished with 16 and 11 points, respectively.

After playing Fairdale on Friday, Bullitt East will play every other day this week. That includes a trip to South Oldham on Tuesday before they host Spencer County on Thursday.

On Saturday, Bullitt East will host the 5th/6th Region Challenge which will also include Bullitt Central and North Bullitt along with three teams from Hardin County.   

At Bullitt East

SOUTHERN 65 (18-8-11-28) Hamilton 15, Williams 11, Richard 12, Thomas 19, Reynolds 4, Bell 4.

BULLITT EAST 60 (14-12-13-21) Adam Kelty 16, Tyler Downs 11, Hayden Sweat 4, Brandon Alphin 3, Grant Polson 4, Tyler Payne 3, Willie Moore 19.

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Lady Chargers Surge

Since returning home from their holiday tournaments, it must still feel like Christmas for the Bullitt East Lady Chargers.

The first regular season game back on the hardwood was a lopsided 69-36 victory over Bardstown and on Tuesday the red and gold made it look easy again as they bombed 24th District rival Southern 74-26.

It was the second time in less than a month that Bullitt East rolled past the Lady Trojans. In the first meeting, the Lady Chargers won 70-27 and this time head coach Chris Stallings added a few players to his bench.

With that bonus, 13 different players scored for the Lady Chargers in the big win. Junior Shelby Romine led the way with 12 points while fellow junior Jackie Stevens came off the bench to score 10 points.

"Southern is more athletic than they have been," Stallings said later in the week. "This was just a game where I thought we played pretty well. We shot it well."

This game also was a chance for junior Jade Troutman to get more playing time as she battles back from a lower back injury. She did not play during the team's first ten games this season, but started playing herself back into shape in the team's tournament action in Owensboro. Troutman scored eight points in this game.

"Her timing is still off," Stallings noted. "That will improve with more playing time. We haven't had any JV games yet for her to get in. The last two games were the most she has played."

The victory over Southern kept Bullitt East undefeated in district play while Bullitt Central is one game back in the seeding standings. 

At Bullitt East

SOUTHERN 26 (8-10-5-3) Starkey 7, Haarman 10, Daniel 2, Jackson 2, Armstrong 5.

BULLITT EAST 74 (19-20-12-23) Jaime Simpson 2, Hannah Philpott 1, Chelsea Smith 1, Nikole Isabel 3, Whitney Stansbury 9, Shelby Romine 12, Jade Troutman 8, Kayla Thacker 9, Meredith Polson 2, Lindey Young 6, Kelly Cunningham 2, Jackie Stevens 10, Samantha Johnson 9.