Mercy week is big deal for Charger girls

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Girls' Basketball

By Mike Farner

 MOUNT WASHINGTON – It is Mercy week for the Bullitt East Lady Chargers, one of the biggest and toughest weeks of the regular season.

Riding a six-game winning streak (not counting a game on Saturday at Lafayette) and winners in 10 of their last 11 games, the Lady Chargers appear ready for the challenge. Coach Chris Stallings’ team will play three games in five days against top-flight competition.

The biggest of the games is the first one as the Lady Chargers will take on Mercy on Tuesday in the regular season meeting that will be used for seeding the 24th District Tournament. Bullitt East has beaten Mercy during the regular season, but since this district alignment was put into place, the Lady Chargers have never beaten the Jaguars in the post-season.

Bullitt East and Mercy met four times last season including both the 24th District and Sixth Region championship games. Mercy won all four of those meetings with the outcomes being decided by between seven and 11 points.

This winter, the two seasons for the teams have unfolded in much the same fashion. Both teams lost their top players – Bullitt East’s Lindsey Duvall and Mercy’s Elizabeth Anderson – to injuries and they struggled early with the new rotations. Now with games under their belts, both teams are playing high-level basketball.

Bullitt East stands at 11-3 while Mercy is 11-6 as of Friday. Both teams have suffered losses to Butler, but the Jaguars showed their mid-season improvement on Friday when they rallied to beat the Bearettes 73-71.

Mercy is led by senior Maddie Woods who is averaging 13.9 points and 5.6 rebounds a contest. Bullitt East is getting 13.5 points and 6.5 rebounds a game from junior Raegan Williams along with 11 points a contest from junior Alyssa Peak.

All three of those Sixth Region teams are ranked among the top-20 teams in the state.

Tuesday’s varsity contest is set to start at 7:30 p.m.

Raatz Fence Classic

For the second year in a row Bullitt East has been invited to play a pair of games in the Raatz Fence Classic at Mercy, one of the state’s top in-season high school basketball ‘showcase’ events.

On Friday, the Lady Chargers will play the first of four games that night when they take on Incarnate Word Academy, a team from the St. Louis, MO. area.

Bullitt East, which has played in the Raatz Fence Classic a number of times, will then make the short trip into southern Jefferson County on Saturday morning when they take the court at 11 a.m. to take on Christian Academy of Louisville (12-4 record).

(That Saturday game will be of extra interest to Bullitt County fans as North Bullitt will play Christian Academy on Tuesday of next week in the opening game of the Girls’ Louisville Invitational Tournament.)

The Friday and Saturday action at Mercy will involve ten of the top 20 teams in Kentucky in the computer rankings including the top four teams – Elizabethtown, Butler, Mercer County and Male.

The three games at Mercy this week will be the final games for Bullitt East before the red and gold enter play in the Girls’ Louisville Invitational Tournament next Tuesday when they take on Pleasure Ridge Park at 8 p.m.