By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
Jan. 16, 2013 — The West Carter girl’s basketball team used timely shooting and stellar defense to advance to the semifinals of the 16th Region All “A” Classic Saturday by defeating host Raceland, 45-35.
Brooke Callihan’s 14 points and sixth grader Morgan Berry’s performance off the bench with nine points led the Lady Comets.
Coach Bart Stevens said his squad played very well to advance in the tournament.
“The girls played fantastic,” Stevens said. “They hung in there despite being undersized at times but we played really solid defense and we made shots when we had to have them.”
The Lady Comets stormed right out of the gate, leading the Lady Rams 14-7 after Alexis Berry scored six points, including one three-pointer.
Callihan went to work in the second quarter, scoring seven points, including a bucket to put West up 29-19 at halftime. West Carter was a perfect 13-13 from the free throw line in the first half.
“She’s a big time player and that’s what they are supposed to do,” Stevens said. “We depend on her and we put a lot of pressure on her and she responds well."
“We were pretty solid defensively,” Stevens said. “We did the things we needed to do down the stretch and I think we’re starting to grow up, which is great.”
Calliahan was limited to just three points and that is where her teammates stepped up.
Morgan Berry had all of her points in the second half and seven in the fourth quarter. The Lady Comets seemed to be in good position to advance after the third quarter, leading 35-24, but an 11-4 run by Raceland brought the lead to within four points. Morgan Berry provided the load in the fourth having all three baskets made, including wide-open looks to finish off the game.
“We have a tendency to get a little skittish at times,” Stevens said. “That hurts us, but we hung on.”
With the win, West Carter (5-9) moved to the semifinals. With just two wins, the Lady Comets can head back to the All “A” State Tournament for the first time since 2011.
“This is a trip to a state tournament you’re playing for,” Stevens said. “It gives the girls a taste of what the tournament is like.”
Alexis Berry and Megan Centers each had six points, Brooke Adkins and Chelsea Zeigler each scored four and Bonita Easterling had two points to round off the scoring for West.
The Lady Comets played in the semifinals of the All “A” Classic against Bath County.
MacKenzie Bates can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1-800247-6142.