By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
Jan. 23, 2013 —
The East Carter Lady Raiders are one of the hottest teams in the 16th Region and it shows no signs of slowing down after defeating rival West Carter 53-27 this past Saturday in Olive Hill.
But for the first few minutes, the Lady Comets were hard to beat, jumping out to 8-3 in the first quarter.
From there, it was all Lady Raiders as they would go on an 18-0 run over the span of 7:20 in the first half to run away with the game.
“We just didn’t attack,” said Bart Stevens, West Carter coach. “We had chances and showed we could play with them but we just didn’t take advantage. You have to do that against a good team.”
East Coach Hager Easterling said his kids rolled up their sleeves and went to work after getting down by five points early.
“They came out and hit a couple of shots early which they didn’t do over at our place,” Easterling said. “At that point, we never looked rattled, we never panicked and just kept on playing and doing what we needed to do.”
Eighth grader Kristen Mayo got things going for East Carter (16-5), scoring 11 of her 13 points in the first quarter.
“Kristen came out ready,” Easterling said. “She got into foul trouble in the second quarter but she hit some big shots. I really like the way our kids step up and look for each other and it makes us hard to guard,” Easterling said.
But it was the defensive pressure that caused the problems for West Carter (7-10), who had 29 in the game including 16 in the first half.
“We want it up-tempo and to pressure the other team, and we want to make our depth a factor,” Easterling said. “We want to stay in their face and play that mother-in-law defense. Constant harassment.”
“The physical presence they use with their press, it takes a toll,” Stevens said. “That’s just some teams' philosophy to put that physical presence in there with you and it makes you cough up the ball.”
East Carter took a 30-14 lead at the break, using a 27-6 run during that span.
Lexie Berry, West Carter’s hot hand, had to sit most of the first half after picking up two fouls. She finished with six points. Brooke Callihan scored 12 points, and Morgan Berry had five off the bench. Brooke Adkins had three points and Megan Centers had one point.
Despite the loss, Stevens said his team had a better showing against their rivals than the first time in Grayson with a 60-21 loss on Jan. 4.
“We’ve gotten better,” Stevens said. “Last time we couldn’t begin to score against East. We looked more like a team this time around.”
West Carter played its sixth game in 12 days as the team gets ready for its All “A” State Tournament matchup with Frankfort Wednesday morning. But Stevens said getting the in-game experience has benefited his squad.
“We’ve played a lot of ball and we’ve gotten better for it,” Stevens said. “I’m proud of my girls.”
East continued its winning ways Monday night defeating 62nd District foe Morgan County 65-22. The Lady Raiders will hit the road Thursday night against Greenup County.
MacKenzie Bates can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.