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Wednesday Semi-finals

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By Thomas Barr

    HIGHVIEW - There have been a lot of "firsts" this season for the North Bullitt Lady Eagles.
With a school-record 21 victories, Amber Courtney's team advanced to the regional tournament for the first time since 2004.
The berth in the Sixth Region tournament this week was secured with a 62-37 semifinal victory over the host Moore Mustangs.
North Bullitt would face Bullitt Central in the championship game Thursday with both advancing to regional play this week.
Courtney's team got off to the perfect start on Wednesday, jumping to a 10-0 lead.
Savannah Morrison opened with a three-pointer and Reba Stice had five points in the frame but it was the inside play of Caitlin Montgomery which proved to be the difference.
The junior center was unstoppable inside and finished with a game-high 23 points.
"She finished tonight," Courtney said of her post player. "We did want I wanted and got the ball inside the entire night. We passed the ball very well."
The host team would settle down and got the lead down to 10 at 21-11; however, North Bullitt finished up with a 9-5 run for a 30-16 advantage at intermission.
Moore would make one more big run in the third quarter but North Bullitt held its ground.
Amber Johnson scored seven points in a two-minute stretch to carve the advantage to 34-25 but Courtney did not call a timeouts. Instead, the North Bullitt Lady Eagles took over.
Katie Downey would score six points and Montgomery added four to end up with a 46-31 lead going into the final period.    
With the lead well in hand, Courtney had the luxury to play some other players and that helps for the recovery mode for the next evening's game.
"The pieces are starting to come together," said Courtney, whose previous two teams had won 18 games in the past two seasons. "We're playing well."
Courtney said that she wanted some pressure full-court against the speedy Lady Mustangs but she also wanted her team to get back into its zone defense.
"They listened and followed the game plan," said Courtney. "They work so hard and I'm so proud of their improvement."
She was pleased that everyone contributed. The team passed the ball well and contained a very quick and athletic Lady Mustang squad.
"We're coming together," said Courtney. "We're young but we've matured a lot."
NORTH BULLITT (15-15-15-17) 62 - Caitlin Montgomery 23, Savannah Morrison 10, Reba Stice 9, Katie Downey 8, Holly White 4, Shelby Morrison 3, Kasey McCoy 3, Bre Stewart 2
At Moore (7-9-15-6) 37 - Amber Johnson 16, Danielle Wilson 6, Kristen Longaker 5, Jordann Horsman 5, Precious Hereford 3, Ashley Adkins 2