March 12, 2014 — The East Carter Lady Raiders headed into the 16th Region championship after defeating Russell 51-38 in the semi-finals Thursday night at Morehead State University.
The Lady Raiders (31-2) used a 17-0 run midway through the second half that helped East advance to its first regional championship since the 2009-10 season.
The Lady Raiders hit seven threes, six of them in the first half and forced 23 Russell turnovers. The numbers weren’t great. East shot 17-of-52 from the field (32.7 percent), but Coach Hager Easterling said he’ll take a win when they shoot like that any time.
“We started out shooting well and we got a little settled,” Easterling said. “We didn’t take a bad shot the whole game but we were settling too quick when we could’ve gotten better shots. Give Russell credit. They played a nice matchup and they did some smart things and (Russell Coach) Mandy (Layne) had them ready to go.”
East scored the first eight points of the game after three-point shots by Kristen Mayo and Megan Stickler and two free throws by Haley Hall. They would extend the lead to 14 poitns in the first on a triple by Ashley Bayes.
East would take a 26-17 lead in to halftime.
Russell would make a game of it in the third quarter, going on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to eight at 30-24 on a Hannah Carter three-point basket. East put the game away on a 17-0 run over a stretch of 5:04 between the third and fourth quarters, capped by an Alexis Pennington layup with 6:15 left in the game.
“For a long stretch, they started playing more physical and with more energy than we did,” Easterling said. “We said during the timeout, hey, we need to get our energy and confidence back up. That’s exactly what we did.