SHEPHERDSVILLE – The North Bullitt Eagles were playing on house money Tuesday night.
The problem was that the competition was stacked. The Evangel Christian deck was stacked with size, wingspan and athletic ability.
While staying close in the first quarter, the top-seeded Eagles were too much for North Bullitt and advanced to the 23rd District final with a 107-69 decision.
“We came out loose,” said head coach Alex Young. “We played well offensively. They are just very good and very athletic.”
Starting a front line that included three players taller than 6-foot-8, Evangel took advantage of that size. In the first half, the other Eagles tested the backboards with 14 dunks.
By the 5:21 mark of the first quarter, Young had already called two of his five timeouts and Evangel led 12-3.
When North Bullitt got open shots, they connected. The problem was that after the first quarter, Evangel went to a zone which made it difficult to find open looks, especially with a 6-8 player on the point and a 6-9 and 6-11 duo in the middle.
“We hit shots,” said Young. “When we got good looks, we hit.”
Kaylen Alexander would score a pair of shots with a three-pointer by Aaron Appleby in between.
After Braxton Sievert drilled a three-pointer and a layup, Jaylen Murray scored on a goal-tending call.
Jaydon Reisser hit a three-pointer with 28 seconds left and the Evangel lead was 26-20 at the first stop.
The 10th-ranked team in Kentucky got rolling in the second quarter. Larry Miller’s team would outscore North Bullitt 35-11, after going to the zone defense.
“We wanted to put a little pressure on them and see if we could force them into some quick shots,” said Young. “It worked for awhile.”
In the second half, the Evangel starters would sit .
North Bullitt would cut the lead to 76-52 at the end of the third quarter. That’s when the starters would return and play the first four minutes. During that time, the lead grew to 33.
“We were very positive the entire game,” said Young. “We got to play everyone. All the seniors got to play and experience this.”
Finishing the season 16-16, Young said it was successful. The Eagles ended with seven more victories than the previous season and a lot of young players got needed varsity experience.
Plus, the freshman team had 22 wins on the season.
“The future looks good,” said Young. “We just have to work hard over the summer.”
At Bullitt Central
NORTH BULLITT (20-11-21-17) 69 – Kaylen Alexander 16, Braxton Sievert 13, Conner Boley 13, Mason Miesner 7, Aaron Appleby 6, Jaylen Murray 5, Jaydon Reisser 3, Austin Brooks 2, Dakota Bodermann 2, Cayden Gibbs 2
Evangel (26-35-15-31) 107 – Cyr Malonga 21, Christian Doerr 21, Kyran Tilley 15, Gianni Davis 14, Johnny Djema 11, Bruce Sweeney 7, Ben Mukadi 6, Isaiah Chitapa 5, Cameron Haygood 5, Aaron Taylor 2