By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
Dec. 18, 2013 — West Carter’s girls basketball team got into the win column for the first time in the 2013-14 season, holding on to defeat 62nd District opponent Elliott County 49-34 Monday night in Olive Hill.
Coach Bart Stevens said his team did what he asked them to do before the start of the game. They hit free throws and rebounded well against an Elliott County team that had some size advantages.
“We beat a pretty good team and that will do wonders for our confidence,” Stevens said. “We out-rebounded Russell by 20 last week and we were able to win the battle underneath (Monday). I’m just proud of girls for battling through.”
While West did not shoot the ball very well from the field (13-for-45 or almost 29 percent) they were efficient from the free throw line, going 19-for-31, including 10-for-13 in the fourth quarter.
West, who has had trouble finishing games, finally put 32 minutes together to earn their first win.
“We lost five games last year too before we won our first game,” Stevens said. “We just have to take it one game at a time. We’re still a very young team. We have one senior and she hasn’t played in two years. We’ve got a good core of kids and if they continue to develop, we’re going to be okay.”
The Lady Comets took a 33-21 lead going into the fourth quarter but three straight buckets by the Lady Lions cut the lead to six just two minutes into the final period. Stevens’ ballclub missed their first six shots in the fourth. Elliott would get within four points twice before West finally pulled away in the last three minutes of the game.
“My assistant coach calls me Negative Nancy and I was hoping we could weather the storm during that stretch and we did,” Stevens said. “I’m proud of our girls and that was a big, district and signature win for us this early in the season.”
Lexie Berry scored 19 points and 10 rebounds for West. Brooke Adkins chipped in with 13 points and Stacy Easterling had three points and 13 rebounds in the winning effort.
“Stacy Easterling played a whale of a game,” Stevens said. “She had rebound after rebound. She might not be the tallest player on the court but she boxed her man out and got on the glass. Lexie played better defense in the second half. We did a good job on their 'Big Three' and that’s what we needed to do to win.”
Morgan Berry came off the bench with 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
They also limited their turnovers (11) against the Lady Lions, which was a big emphasis for Stevens.
“We took good care of the basketball and we didn’t panic,” Stevens said. “We ran our plays and the effort is there. If we come out like we did in the fourth and finish ballgames, we’re going to be alright.”
The Lady Comets were back home Tuesday night against Fairview. West hosts Greenup County Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
MacKenzie Bates can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.