Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

February 12, 2014

West upsets Elliott

By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
Journal-Times

Feb. 12, 2014 — All year long, Coach Jeremy Webb and the West Carter boys basketball team have gone through some growing pains.

On Thursday against 62nd District opponent Elliott County, the Comets put together one of their most complete games of the season as they knocked off the Lions 60-51 in Olive Hill.

“It was a good win for us and we needed it for district standings,” Webb said. “It gives us confidence in ourselves as we head down the home stretch of the regular season.”

The Comets (7-11) got 22 points out of senior guard Dalton Spurlock, who went 3-of-10 from the field but was 14-of-19 from the free throw line. He had seven rebounds, two assists and two steals in the win.

“Dalton played extremely well,” Webb said. “He showed senior leadership and made some plays for our team just like a senior point guard should.”

Webb added: “Even though you’re not making shots from the perimeter, he got to the line and knocked them down. That helps find ways to win basketball games.”

West Carter trailed 33-28 at the half but would outscore the Lions (14-8) 33-17 in the second, including a 13-4 mark in the third quarter.

Webb credited his team defense in the second half to limit the scoring opportunities of Elliott’s Logan Nickell and Hunter Holbrook. Nickell had 13 points and Holbrook had all 11 of his points in the first half. West did not allow him to score in the second half.

“Holbrook is tough matchup skilled offensively and we did a fine job on him in the second half and was a focal point for our defense.

“Nickell has the ability to put his team on the back and he scores in spurts. We did that with our man defense. We worked on that and zone over the past few weeks and we’re doing a good job of keeping offense guys in front and then we have Ben to protect the rim and the basket.”

With the win, West Carter has closed the gap between the other three teams in the 62nd District to stay in the hunt for a possible district championship and a spot in the 16th Region Tournament.

“It seems like this year in and out,” Webb said. “There are always early on favorites before the season begins but that doesn’t matter. There are such good coaches in the district that they find ways to close the gap and keep teams focused.”

The Comets also got 15 points and 13 rebounds by Ben Jordan in the win. Braden Brown scored seven points and Jacob Layne added nine for West Carter.

“Ben is very consistent and had a lull in the middle of the season has come on as of late,” Webb said. “We’re getting three really good scorers night in and out. Braden is getting comfortable in this game and our team is molding together and coming together at the right time of the season.”

The win is very similar to how the Comets started February last season. As the year went on, the Comets strung together some wins and that momentum carried over into the postseason.

“Early on, we’ve played trying to not make mistakes but we’ve started to relax in close games and we’re learning how to win,” Webb said. “We’ve got two weeks left but a lot of games in that time. Now it’s time to build on what we’ve started.”

West Carter will face Morgan County tonight in Olive Hill and travel to Russell on Thursday.

MacKenzie Bates can be reached at mbates@journal-times.com or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.