By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
Jan. 8, 2014 — The West Carter girls basketball team made the cold trip from Olive Hill to Morehead Saturday night to take on an improving Rowan County team that has played much better as of late.
The Lady Vikings opened up a big lead in the third quarter and never looked back as they defeated the Lady Comets 77-49.
Eleven different players scored for the Lady Vikings (6-8), which seems to be a trend of late for Coach Jen Williams and her ball club.
“I thought early in the season we lost some games on some selfishness and we’ve talked about it a lot,” Williams said. “We’ve worked on our passing. I thought offensively, it’s the best we’ve looked.”
Rowan County and West Carter looked to be an old-fashioned shootout in the first quarter with the Lady Vikings taking a 19-14 lead after the opening period.
But a quick offensive spurt in the second quarter allowed the Lady Vikings to take control of the game, leading 39-28 at intermission. Senior guard Faith Conn had 17 of her 20 points in the first half. The deficit was due to eight turnovers in the second quarter alone and Rowan earning second chance opportunities close to the basket.
“It took us out of the game,” said West Coach Bart Stevens said. “They wore us out on the blocks and they were posting players up and we didn’t guard anybody. We are giving up too many points. We need to get better defensively.”
The Lady Comets (4-6) finished with 16 miscues for the game.
“We just commit so many turnovers that are not necessary,” Stevens said. “We have people that I guess maybe do the best they can but they play timid with the basketball and those things happen.”
The Lady Vikings would blow the game wide open in the third quarter, outscoring West Carter 22-8. Back-to-back three point buckets by junior Becca Duff late in the third quarter allowed Rowan County to cruise the rest of the way.
“I thought our defense was bad, we just lose our heads at times,” Stevens said. “We just make a lot of plays that don’t add up. I know we’re young. We just can’t keep playing like this if we want to compete here in the region.”
West Carter seventh grader Morgan Berry scored 14 points against the Lady Vikings, including nine in the first half.
Williams went into the locker room at halftime stressing to her team to make sure she did not get easy looks at the basket in the second half.
“In the first half, she picked us apart a little bit but that’s something we needed to change in the second half and I felt like we did,” Williams said. “She’s young and relentless and keeps playing. I told Coach (Stevens) that she’s not someone I need to guard for the next six years.”
Senior Leatha Reynolds matched Morgan’s point total with 14. Junior Lexie Berry had 10 points, Madison Hanshaw had four points, Stacey Easterling had three points and Hannah Bear had two points.
MacKenzie Bates can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.