By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
Dec. 18, 2013 — The West Carter boys basketball team traveled to West Liberty this past Saturday for 62nd District action against Morgan County.
The Cougars, coming off a 72-36 loss to Fleming County in the East Kentucky Conference Tournament championship, used a late fourth quarter rally to defeat the Comets 53-44.
“Give Morgan County some credit,” Coach Jeremy Webb said. “We had the lead for most of the game and they made shots in the fourth quarter at a period where we were struggling to score. We came out strong to start the game and in the third quarter.”
West Carter (1-4) took a 36-34 lead into the fourth quarter. Clinging to a two-point lead, the Comets missed three front ends of the one-and-one bonus. West was a combined 11-for-25 from the charity stripe.
“Our guys battled and played hard but this was a missed opportunity,” Webb said. “We struggled to make shots in the third quarter and we missed 14 free throws. It was just a bad combination.”
Jacob Layne notched a double-double for West Carter, scoring 19 points and 13 rebounds.
“Jacob came to play,” Webb said. “It was the first game this year he’s doing what we expected him to do. He was active on both ends of the floor and we need him to keep doing that if we’re going to be successful.”
West’s defensive pressure forced 19 turnovers to Morgan’s 15. While Webb said there were three too many turnovers for his squad, he looks at Morgan’s 47.5 percent shooting from the field to his 34.8 percent.
“They had more defensive rebounding opportunities than we do when they shoot a high percentage,” Webb said of his team’s rebounding. “We had more offensive rebounds (12) because we didn’t shoot the ball well. We missed so many easy baskets underneath. Point-blank misses and we can’t do that if we want to beat a good basketball team.”
Morgan County sophomore Jordan Perry led all scorers with 20 points.
Webb was also happy with the play of Ben Jordan, not only this game but the first five games of the season.
“He’s been consistent the first few games and that’s been big for us,” Webb said. “When you’re relying on freshman we’ll be inconsistent but he’s averaging almost 12 points and 12 rebounds a game.”
The Comets have a few days off before traveling to Rowan County to play Belfry out of the 15th Region in the Kentucky Bank Challenge on Friday at 7:45 p.m.
“We’re getting better every game out,” Webb said. “Early on, our young guys were overwhelmed. We’re getting more comfortable as our season rolls along. It’s a process. We just need to get through December and get a few wins before the New Year.”
MacKenzie Bates can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.