Butler invades East on Tuesday

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By Mike Farner

    MOUNT WASHINGTON - Four of the top programs in the Sixth Region will collide on Tuesday in rematches from last season’s post-season thrillers when Butler invades Bullitt East.
    Just as was the case last year in Louisville, the two games will be switched from the normal rotation. The boys’ game will start at 6 p.m. with the girls’ game to follow at roughly 7:30 p.m.
    A year ago, the two boys’ teams split a pair of 62-58 decisions. Bullitt East won the regular season meeting before Butler rallied in the final 90 seconds to win by that score in the Sixth Region Tournament semi-finals en route to the Bears winning the regional title.
    The boys’ game will match two undefeated teams at 2-0 this season. Butler has already knocked off Central 63-60 on Friday (Central still has players competing in football) as well as easily beating Southern to open the season.
    The Bears were ranked fifth in the Sixth Region in the pre-season coaches’ poll, just behind Bullitt East. Butler is led by 5-11 point guard Jalen Wesson, a sophomore, who is one of the few returning players from last season for head coach Shawn Purlee.
    The girls’ game will showcase a pair of top-25 teams, although, neither squad has played that way after the first week of the season.
    Butler is 2-0 after slipping past Central 58-54 in overtime on Friday. The Bearettes did crush Southern 73-42 to start the season.
    Coach Larry Just’s team was the overwhelming pre-season favorite in the Sixth Region after beating Bullitt East 48-43 in the regional final last season despite losing three starters. Still, the Bearettes return leading scorer Aareon Smith from last season along with strong senior guards Megan Cureton and Heather Wheat.
    The Bearettes were ranked eighth in the state in the pre-season coaches’ poll while Bullitt East was tabbed 22nd. That was before Bullitt East lost to Bullitt Central on Friday.
    Butler will try to be a very uptempo team and will apply pressure all over the court. Bullitt East will look to be more half-court and work the ball inside.