By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
Feb. 26, 2014 — West Carter seniors Jacob Layne, Dalton Spurlock and Austin Gee were honored just before last Tuesday night’s game with the Ashland Tomcats. All three talked about their greatest memories while playing in a Comet jersey.
The Tomcats however, spoiled the party as they would defeat West 68-48 behind Steven Friley’s double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds.
The Comets (10-13) fell behind quickly (16 points) in the first quarter after turning the ball over several times in the opening period.
“It was Ashland’s system,” Webb said. “They push the ball continually and get the ball inbounds quickly and throw it over the defense. We didn’t have a lot of time to prep for that but we should’ve done a better job of slowing the basketball down.”
After a quick 5-4 lead on a Ben Jordan basket, West would not score a point until Chase Hanshaw’s basket nearly three minutes later. Hayden Roe’s free throws followed by a Spurlock shot would cut the lead to 13.
Ashland sophomore Christian Villers would go to work, hitting a three-point basket just before the end of the first quarter to earn the 16-point lead.
Villers would score 17 points and hit 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.
West would commit the majority of their 15 turnovers in the first half, which played a big role in falling behind by double digits.
“Offensively they want you to push the ball and play faster than you normally play,” Webb said. “That got our minds moving faster and a lot of times when that happens, you’re missing shots and making mistakes.”
West tried to claw their way back into in the second, going on a 10-2 run early. Spurlock and sophomore Braden Brown hit three-pointers and a putback by Jordan had the Comets within 28-20.
“After we got used to the style that they played, we relaxed a little bit more and we were able to play close from that point on,” Webb said. “But we dug ourselves in a hole and that’s hard to get out of.”
The Tomcats would then use a 10-3 run of their own to head into halftime with a 38-23 lead. Ashland would come out strong defensively in the third, holding the comets to just six points in the third quarter.
West had played particularly well in the month of February winning four out of their last six heading into last week.
“I don’t feel like fatigue is an excuse, just simply because we didn't put forth the maximum effort,” Webb said about the Elliott County game. “ ... I think it was simply not being used to and preparing for Ashland’s system and style that they like to play.”
Spurlock would finish 12 points while Roe added 11 and Jordan contributed with 10.
For Layne, Spurlock and Gee, it would be the last time they would ever play a high school game at Hop Brown court.
“It’s tough to go out with a loss,” Webb said. “They will be sorely missed and they’ve done a fine job, especially in the last month of leading this team and making plays on both ends of the floor. I can’t say enough about what they’ve meant to our program.”
MacKenzie Bates can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.