By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
Jan. 2, 2013 — Last Thursday’s opening round matchup of the Ohio River Cities Classic pitting the West Carter Lady Comets against Ripley, Ohio, may not have been an exciting one, but it made for a competitive game.
After holding a slim advantage at the half, West Carter could not put together enough offense to hold on for the win, falling to Ripley, 34-28, at Greenup County.
Point production has plagued the Lady Comets for the majority of the still young 2012-2013 season, and this game was no different.
West found solace in an unexpected source with sixth man Chelsea Zeigler providing back-to-back baskets off the bench scoring six of her team’s four points in the period.
Two late free throws by senior center Megan Centers gave the Lady Comets a slim 6-4 advantage entering the second period.
With the score tied at nine apiece midway through the quarter, Brooke Adkins and Brooke Callihan finally started to put together some offense for West Carter.
Adkins converted on two jumpers, while Callihan scored her first points of the game with a deep jump shot, leaving West ahead at the break of the defensive struggle, 15-11.
West Carter Head Coach Bart Stevens complimented his team’s defensive effort.
“We played pretty good defense, and for the most part, that has been our biggest strength this season,” Stevens said.
The narrow advantage quickly disappeared at the beginning of the third when the Blue Jays Niya Royal connected on the game’s first three pointer.
A 15-14 score signaled what the rest of the third period would entail, as both teams went back and forth, exchanging leads seven times throughout the third quarter.
Ripley took the lead for good late in the period when Jessica Garrison hit one from deep to give her team a 24-21 advantage.
The Lady Comets produced just five points in the final eight minutes, signaling their seventh defeat of the season.
Stevens said he felt his team lacked focus in the post-Christmas tournament.
“We just didn’t come out ready to play today, and this is what happens when you don’t,” Stevens said. “This is a game we could have won, and we honestly probably should have won.”
No Lady Comet made double figures, as Callihan led her team with seven points, Zeigler had six and Lexie Berry had five.
Following the loss, the Lady Comets went on to defeat Louisville Moore in the first round of the consolation bracket of the Ohio River Cities Classic Friday afternoon Callihan had 19 points in the victory.
Be sure to stick with Journal-Times sports for more on West Carter girls basketball.
Grant Stevens can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.