With a Mercy Academy defender in her face most of the game, Bullitt East basketball star Lindsey Duvall had managed just 12 points and saw her team trailing by seven midway through the fourth quarter Tuesday night.
But she wasn’t fazed.
“You have to look at the bigger picture and put everything behind you,” Duvall said. “You get that adrenaline at the end and sort of go with it.”
The University of Louisville signee did just that, scoring 14 of her team’s final 17 points and adding a key blocked shot as the host Chargers rallied to beat the Jaguars 70-66 in a matchup of Sixth Region rivals.
Duvall finished with 26 points and added six rebounds as Bullitt East (16-4) – No. 15 in the state in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings – beat the No. 8 Jaguars (9-10).
“They know who to get the ball to when they need it, and she took care of it,” Mercy coach Keith Baisch said of Duvall.
Kirstie Henn (16 points, six rebounds) and Kathleen Scott (11 points, five rebounds) also had big nights for Bullitt East, which has won eight in a row and 14 of its past 15 games.
“At the beginning of the season I don’t think we would have won that game,” said Duvall, who last week passed Alison Bass as Bullitt East’s all-time leading scorer and now has 2,626 career points. “Our maturity sort of kicked in this game, and I think the future is bright for us right now.”
Danielle Feldkamp had 17 points and nine rebounds and led a balanced scoring attack for Mercy. Hope Sivori had 15 points, Sadie Zeisloft 14 and Regan Berger 10.
After leading by seven points midway through the fourth quarter, the Jaguars committed three crucial turnovers in the final minutes. The Chargers finished with a 22-6 advantage in points off turnovers.
“Down the stretch the difference was our composure,” Baisch said. “That’s only our second close game all year, so that’s a learning lesson. … We have a freshman point guard (Sivori) out there who had an incredible game. She’s playing her butt off and continuing to get better and better, but she’s never been in this situation before.”
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Down 49-44 after three quarters, Mercy opened the fourth with a 14-2 run – getting 3-pointers from Sivori and Berger – and led 58-51 after two Zeisloft free throws with 3:46 remaining.
Taking advantage of Mercy’s turnovers, Bullitt East battled back and took a 63-62 lead on Duvall’s 3-pointer from the left wing with 1:36 left.
Chargers coach Chris Stallings said a late change in defenses keyed the comeback.
“Early in the year we were in that situation, and I didn’t think we executed,” he said. “Tonight we made enough shots … and I thought the change in pressure really helped generate some transition baskets for us.”
Sivori’s layup gave Mercy a 64-63 lead with 1:25 left, but Duvall answered with a jumper for a 65-64 lead at the 1:08 mark and then blocked a Berger shot with 55 seconds remaining.
Duvall hit 5 of 6 free throws in the final 37.6 seconds to seal the victory.
She finished 8 of 14 from the field, including 3 of 6 from 3-point range, and 7 of 8 from the free-throw line and did it all while being the focus of the Mercy defense.
“I know I have to create shots by doing other stuff and staying active,” she said. “It does get frustrating, but I’m used to it.”
Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and email@example.com.
BULLITT EAST 70, MERCY 66
MERCY (9-10) – Hope Sivori 15p; Sadie Zeisloft 14p; Regan Berger 10p, 3a; Josie Woods 7p; Camryn Muss 3p, 3a; Danielle Feldkamp 17p, 9r.
BULLITT EAST (16-4) – Lauren Masden 6p; Lindsey Duvall 26p, 6r; Alyssa Peak 5p; Kirstie Henn 16p, 6r; Kathleen Scott 11p, 3a; Emmy Ralph 6p.