Jan. 22, 2014 — East Carter boys basketball coach Brandon Baker was not sure how his team would come out after an 11-day period in between games.
Up until last Tuesday’s game against 62nd District opponent Elliott County, the Raiders had not played a game since they defeated West Carter 48-26 on Jan. 3.
Against a Lions team that is much improved from a year ago, the Raiders fell into an early hole only to climb almost out of it late in the fourth quarter.
But Elliott County would hold on for the 68-59 win over East.
“It was out of our hands,” Baker said of taking 11 days between games. “If the layoff impacted anything, we played very scrambled. We hadn’t played as smoothly as we had been but some might say the layoff had to do with that but I say Elliott County had a lot to do with it.”
The Lions (13-6) are a very young team that starts three sophomores and with a freshman that comes off the bench early, the Lions are maturing at a quick pace. Junior Hunter Holbrook posted a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds and sophomore Collin Howell had eight points and 20 rebounds in the victory.
Elliott shot 50 percent from the field and outrebounded East 45-17.
“That was unacceptable,” Baker said. “Credit to them, they played a lot more poised and got the ball to where they needed to score. That’s a sign of a good team.”
While Elliott could have ran away with the ballgame, East Carter battled back in the fourth quarter. They were down 49-36 after three quarters but began the final period on a 9-2 run. The Raiders cut the lead to four on senior Cole Brammer’s free throws with 2:06 to play.
“It was a sense of urgency that we had to play with,” Baker said. “I think that caused us to settle down and start attacking the basket. It cleared our minds and we stopped thinking and started playing. We just weren’t fortunate enough to make free throws when we needed to.”