By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
Feb. 19, 2014 — East Carter’s loss to Boyd County on Saturday is far behind them, so says Coach Hager Easterling.
If Tuesday night’s game against 62nd District rival West Carter was any indication, the Lady Raiders were quick to move on as they defeated the Lady Comets 58-19 in Grayson.
“I thought the way we came out and approached the game with a lot of energy to help get us back to doing the things that we needed to do that won us 15 games in a row.”
East Carter (23-2) went back to their ways before Saturday’s loss by playing hard-nosed defense, rebounding the basketball and forcing turnovers.
West Carter (9-11) missed their first 22 shots and was 4-for-36 from the field. Their first field goal came with 2:56 left in the third quarter when Morgan Berry hit a three-point basket from the left wing.
“We missed too many shots in the first half and that really shot us in the foot,” said West coach Bart Stevens. “We took ourselves out of the game by missing so many easy baskets.”
West had 22 turnovers for the game, including 15 in the first half.
“That’s not bad for pressing for just a half,” Easterling said. “If you don’t have ball pressure, nothing else behind us is going to work. The people away from the ball were reading things and getting into passing lanes.”
“A lot of our turnovers weren’t against the press, they were all in the half court,” Stevens said. “We were just throwing it around all over the place. When you’re trying to run a half court offense against them, you have to be strong with the ball and we weren’t tonight.”
While the Lady Raiders did not shoot the ball well, (21-of-53) Easterling still saw the intensity his team continued in the second half.
“We didn’t shoot the ball great in the first half but some of that comes back from doubt,” Easterling said. “Sometimes we didn’t do a good job of getting ourselves ready to shoot the ball before we caught it the first half but we did better in the second half.”
East’s freshman duo of Kristen Mayo and Haley Hall led the Lady Raiders with 10 points each. Lexie and Morgan Berry each had seven points for West Carter.
Easterling will take a win when he can get them but he knows in games like this against a county rival and what he says is a good friend in Stevens, it makes games like this difficult to coach at times.
“It’s hard to see a spread like that against somebody you consider a good friend,” Easterling said. “I know in a game we’re competitors but we’re still good friends. We just had more talent and Bart is doing a great job and they’ll be fine.”
MacKenzie Bates can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.
WEST CARTER 3 3 4 9 - 19
EAST CARTER 14 18 17 9 - 58
West Carter (19) — L. Berry 7, B. Easterling 1, M. Berry 7, Evans 2, Zeigler 2. PF: 15. Fouled out: Reynolds. FT: 9-13. 3-point FGs: 2 (M. Berry 2)
East Carter (58) — Mayo 9, Greenhill 10, Hall 10, Stickler 4, Stumbo 6, Brainard 4, Damron 9, Pennington 2, Bayes 2, Clarke 2. PF: 12. FT: 10-16. 3-point FGs: 6 (Greenhill 2, Damron 2, Mayo, Hall)