March 5, 2014 — WEST LIBERTY – The scoreboard showed that East Carter won its second straight 62nd District Championship but to Hager Easterling, his team did not play Lady Raider basketball.
East defeated West Carter 56-22 for their 29th victory of the season Thursday night at Morgan County High School. The majority of those wins came with tough defense and an aggressive mindset in all three phases.
They shot 33.9 percent from the field, and only won the rebounding battle by one (32-31) but did not show the tenacity that Easterling wanted to see at this time of the year.
“It might have been good enough tonight but that’s not going to be good enough next week,” Easterling said. “It’s got to be 32 minutes of East Carter basketball.”
“I don’t like the mindset we’re playing with,” Easterling said. “We don’t have that aggressive attack and that confident look that we’ve had all season. With all of the good basketball we’ve played this year, we seem hesitant sometimes. That’s not going to be good enough next week.”
West Carter (11-14) was shorthanded as leading scorer Morgan Berry suffered a sprained LCL in Monday’s win against Elliott County. The Lady Comets, while shorthanded, slowed the game down in the first quarter, limiting possessions and taking an early 6-5 lead after a jumper from senior Leatha Reynolds.
From then on, the Lady Raiders got back to playing East Carter basketball. They forced 11 of West’s 32 turnovers in the second period, while going on a 28-5 run that bled in to the third quarter.
“I didn’t think we were active and ready to go after the basketball whether it was a rebound or a deflection,” Easterling said. “We can be so active and beat people to loose balls and rebounds. We didn’t do a good job of that this week.”