Feb. 6, 2013 — The magic and emotion of senior night at a high school basketball game can bring a lot of memories from four years of playing in one uniform.
East Carter seniors Kerie Steele, Corina Gee and Taylor Thornbury almost had their party spoiled.
The Lady Raiders had to rally late in the fourth quarter to send the seniors home with a 39-34 victory over Rowan County on Monday night.
For more than three quarters, the Lady Vikings were beating ECHS at their own game with tough defensive pressure. Steele said the pre-game festivities had something to do with that.
“We were so focused on the ceremony and we weren’t ready to play,” Steele said. “We finally got together and played as a team and came away with the win.”
The pressure started from the tip from Rowan, despite East racing out to an 8-2 lead. The second quarter is where things got dicey for the Lady Raiders, mustering only four points throughout the period, taking a 12-8 lead into the locker room.
East Coach Hager Easterling credits several misses inside the paint.
“When we did that, it affected us,” Easterling said. “It got us into that frame of mind of being tense but give credit to Rowan County because they played very physical and played with a lot of energy.”
In the second half, the pressure was still keeping East Carter out of their rhythm, leading Rowan by just four points at 24-20.
It was much of the same in the fourth quarter as well. Up by just one point with three minutes remaining, Lady Vikings junior Becca Duff connected on a three from the wing to give Rowan its first lead at 32-30.
“I’m glad they took the lead on us late,” Easterling said. “I wanted to see how we would react when we got behind late in the game like that. We haven’t been behind late like that in a long time.”