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BE girls finish on a high note beating Sacred Heart

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By Mike Farner

 MOUNT WASHINGTON – A second half to remember gave the Bullitt East Lady Chargers their most impressive victory of the season on Friday as the red and gold stunned Sacred Heart 53-48 in the traditional final game of the regular season for both teams.

Sacred Heart (20-8), the state’s 16th-ranked team, led 29-14 late in the first half and it was 29-18 at halftime before Bullitt East took control in the second half. The Lady Chargers scored the first seven points of the third quarter to complete an 11-0 surge to get back in the contest.

Still, Bullitt East (22-6) did not pull even until back-to-back three point plays by juniors Courtney Pfister and Emily Fryman tied the game at 38-38 two minutes into the final frame. The Lady Chargers’ first lead of the game came moments later when eighth-grader Lindsey Duvall scored consecutive baskets that made it 42-39.

The Valkyries, a squad that had lost to fourth-ranked Manual 69-60 three nights earlier, rallied for a 48-45 lead when head coach Chris Stallings called a time-out with 2:17 remaining. The red and gold responded with the final eight points of the game to secure the win with Duvall netting the first four points in the surge before both Fryman and Taylor Blain each hit two free throws.

Stallings and his assistant coaches did not hide the fact that the head coaches’ short halftime speech was not pleasant after his team shot just 30 percent and turned the ball over 11 times in the first half.

“We just talked,” Stallings said with just a hint of a smile after the game. “Our new focus was transition defense. We had to find (DaiJia) Ruffin and (Gretchen) Samsel (who combined to score 18 points in the first half). I thought a big key was our transition defense in the second half. Our half-court defense was good all night.

“On offense we challenged them to do what we asked them to do on offense,” the coach added. “(In the second half) of offense we had a renewed effort and better execution.”

Pfister and Duvall each scored 11 points for the Lady Chargers. Sophomore Kylee Willis added 10 points and nine rebounds while Duvall grabbed eight rebounds.

Bullitt East allowed only eight Sacred Heart rebounds in the second half as they finished with a 31-25 edge on the glass.

After shooting 30 percent in the first half, Bullitt East improved that mark to 55 percent after halftime.

“Hopefully this will springboard us,” Stallings said of his team entering post-season play this week with the 24th District Tournament at Fern Creek. “Sacred Heart has been top 20 all year. We’re coming together as a team and that is good to see at this time of year.”

Ruffin led all scorers in the game with 20 points and Samsel had nine, but no other Valkyrie scored more than six points.

At Bullitt East

SACRED HEART 48 (14-15-6-13) Johnson 6, Baisas 2, Samsel 9, Randal 2, Moir 3, Ruffin 20, Stough 4, Long 2.

BULLITT EAST 53 (10-8-14-21) Emily Fryman 6, Courtney Pfister 11, Lindsey Duvall 11, Cady Cornell 4, Taylor Blain 10, Mackenzie Bass 5, Kylee Willis 6.