By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
Feb. 12, 2014 — Nobody said a win has to be pretty.
On Monday night against Fairview, the West Carter girls team did not shoot the ball well, turned the ball over too many times but made several plays down the stretch as they defeated the Lady Eagles 45-42.
Junior forward Lexie Berry scored the go-ahead basket with 1:07 left and Bonita Easterling stole a pass with five seconds left to seal the victory for the Lady Comets.
Though frustrated with his team’s performance, coach Bart Stevens was happy to get the win.
“Fairview did a great job,” Stevens said. “They were ready to play and competed and at times we were a little bit rattled. We don’t know at times who is going to shoot the ball for us but luckily we were able to make plays down the stretch to get the win.”
Stevens added: “There are some teams that you just don’t play well against and ours is Fairview. We had them down 19 at our place earlier in the season and held on like we did here (Monday).”
Down 40-39 with a little over a minute left, seventh grader Morgan Berry drove the lane and found her sister Lexie underneath the basket and behind the Fairview defense to score the basket.
“We just didn’t play well offensively and there’s nothing we can do about it and just hope we make some plays when we needed to,” Stevens said. “Lexie’s basket and a few free throws in the final minutes helped close this one out for us.”
After a missed shot, Stacey Easterling missed the front end of a one-and-one bonus. After getting the ball back, Easterling stepped up and made two free throws to put West up 44-41 with 28.2 seconds remaining.
The two teams added an extra point on free throws and as Fairview was trying to get the ball up court with 7.5 seconds remaining, Bonita Easterling stepped in front of the pass and held onto the ball as time expired.
“That was the play of the game,” Stevens said. “She read the pass and they started to throw the ball down to (Fairview’s Brittney Bell) and she stepped in the passing lane and intercepted it. It was a big play for us.”
Morgan Berry finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and three steals in the win, but struggled from the field, largely in part to the pressure Fairview was applying on her.
“You don’t always get a wide open shot,” Stevens said. “She struggles at times against pressure but to her credit, she was able to get to the basket for some high percentage shots and got to the foul line.
“She made a great pass to Lexie to put us ahead. That was a smart decision on her part when we needed a bucket.”
Fairview’s Brittney Bell scored 17 points to lead the Lady Eagles.
Monday night’s game was one of four this week for West Carter. They played at East Carter Tuesday night, Elliott County on Thursday night and Bath County on Friday night.
MacKenzie Bates can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.