Bullitt teams in the mix for regional crowns

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By Mike Farner

  SHEPHERDSVILLE - A year ago, the Bullitt East girls reached the championship game of the Sixth Region Tournament while the boys reached the regional semi-finals.

This season, both teams are looking to improve on that performance after rolling to 24th District titles last week.

East has Tough Draw

After beating Fairdale on Friday night in the district final, Bullitt East head coach Troy Barr admitted, that at least for this season, that winning the district title wasn’t going to earn the Chargers much of a break when it came to the draw for the regional tournament (district winners draw district runners-up in the first round of the regional).

The coach was right.

Bullitt East, the state’s 15th ranked team, drew opposite Iroquois in the final game on Monday night at Bellarmine University. That game will be played at 8:15 p.m.

The Chargers’ only loss to a Sixth Region foe this year came back on Jan. 4 when the Raiders won 72-70 at home in overtime.

Iroquois has been ranked among the top teams in the state this season behind the play of senior Jermaine Jackson, the Player of the Year in the Sixth Region last season (but only number two to Western’s Ryan Taylor this season). Jackson is averaging 23 points a game and 11 rebounds. Iroquois has fallen out of the top rankings as they have lost three of their last four games.

The Raiders were a district runner-up after a bad night in the 22nd District final as they fell to Butler 85-69, a team they had defeated by five points back on Feb. 4.

With a win on Monday, Bullitt East would advance to the regional semi-finals for a second straight season where they would face the winner of the Central vs. Western game. That contest will be played at 5 p.m. on Friday at Bellarmine.

The top half of the bracket is dominated by Pleasure Ridge Park and they will open with Shawnee. The Panthers would then take on the winner of the Butler-Fairdale game in the first semi-final on Friday at 3:30 p.m.

The Sixth Region final is set for Monday, March 7, at 7 p.m.

Girls in the Mix

Both Bullitt East and Bullitt Central could have a big say in how the Sixth Region Tournament plays out this week.

All of the first round girls’ games will be played at Atherton High School. The semi-finals and final will be contested at Bellarmine University.

Bullitt East is playing its best basketball of the season and they got the best opening round draw as they will face a bad Doss team at 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday at Atherton High School. Doss has won only four games this season and lost in the 22nd District final to Butler 76-10.

A first round win would move Bullitt East into the tournament semi-finals on Thursday at 8:15 p.m. against the winner of the Central vs. Pleasure Ridge Park game which will be played at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Bullitt Central was hoping for any first-round opponent not named Butler and so Lady Cougar head coach Bryan Bates had to be happy to draw Holy Cross in a game at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. The Lady Cougars lost on the road to Holy Cross 49-47 way back on Dec. 7.

The Lady Cougars, who have not played in the Sixth Region Tournament since 2006, then would have the tough take of facing Butler, the eighth-ranked team in the state, in the first semi-final on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Bullitt Central lost to Butler 59-49 a month ago.

The girls’ final is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday at Bellarmine.