Bullitt East 47, Goose Creek 37

By Greg Hutton

Special to The Post and Courier

Goose Creek will not be one of the Lowcountry teams playing for a title in the 3rd annual Carolina Invitational Tournament.

Just over 24 hours after dispatching Pinewood Prep in opening-round action, the Gators lost an Island Division semifinal game to Bullitt East, 47-37, on Saturday at Bishop England's Father O'Brien Gymnasium.

"It was a good atmosphere for us to be in as far as seeing what we can do against a real good basketball team," said Goose Creek coach Tim Baldwin. "We came up a little bit short today as far as the scoreboard is concerned, but I felt like we learned a lot."

While the Chargers, of Mount Washington, Ky., will play for the eight-team Island Division title Sunday against Northwestern, the Gators will meet Spartanburg in the third-place contest at 12:30 p.m.

Goose Creek (8-2) held an 8-6 lead after one quarter and, despite problems coping with Bullitt East's high-pressure defense, built a 5-point cushion midway through the second stanza on Semoine Frasier's acrobatic layup.

But a 7-0 run to close the half, which included a Mackenzie Bass put-back with three seconds on the clock, provided the Chargers with a 19-17 lead heading into the locker room.

Despite holding Bullitt East (7-2) scoreless for the first five minutes of the third quarter, the Gators again found themselves trailing by two points entering the final frame. All 11 of the Chargers' third-quarter points were scored in the last three minutes.

Goose Creek pulled within one point with 5:27 left in the game but were outscored 14-5 down the stretch, which sealed the win for Bullitt East in a contest that featured six lead changes.

Freshman guard Lindsey Duvall recorded a game-high 19 points for the Chargers, who cruised past Summerville, 64-27, on Friday.

Shakeia Joy (9 points), Ryan Bishop (7) and Frasier (7) led the Gators' well-balanced scoring effort.

"I think we could have had some better sets on offense, but I thought of defensive intensity was high, and give (Bullitt East) credit - they made plays," Baldwin said. "Down the stretch, they knocked down a big three. When we fouled them, they made free throws. And they didn't give us a chance to dig back in."

The Chargers made 13 of 14 from the charity stripe, while Goose Creek struggled to a 13-of-24 effort.

"The biggest thing is our depth," Baldwin said. "We're playing about seven deep, not nine or 10. Right now we're looking for a third or fourth post player to step up."

Bullitt East (47): Lindsey Duvall 19, Taylor Blain 9, Mackenzie Bass 8, Emily Fryman 4, Alyssa Peak 2, Courtney Pfister 2, Raegan Williams 2, Kirstie Henn 1.

Goose Creek (37): Shakeia Joy 9, Ryan Bishop 7, Semoine Frasier 7, Alex Ludwig 5, Ericka Broughton 4, Mariah Linney 4, Alishya Neal-Turner 1.

Bullitt East 6 13 11 17-47

Goose Creek 8 9 11 9-37

Records: Bullitt East 7-2, Goose Creek 8-2.

Next: Bullitt East vs. Northwestern at 2 p.m. Sunday in Island Division championship game. Goose Creek vs. Spartanburg at 12:30 p.m. Sunday in Island Division third-place game.