March 12, 2014 — The East Carter girl’s basketball team’s magical season came to an end Friday night in the 16th Region Championship as Ashland defeated the Lady Raiders 45-41 at Morehead State University.
Junior Megan Stickler scored 18 points and freshman Kristen Mayo added 15 points to lead East Carter.
Tournament MVP Alexis Robinson scored 25 points and was 11-of-12 from the free throw line for the game to help the Kittens advance to their first ever three-peat as champions.
“Someone said it’s sad if this loss is what people remember about this team,” Easterling said. “All of the stuff they’ve done this year and the way they played the game and the way they’ve represented their school and community with such class. They had a tremendous year.”
East’s biggest lead came in the beginning of the third quarter on Mayo’s layup at 25-18. East would then go without a basket until Stickler’s basket with 7:06 left in the game. The Kittens would have a one-point lead at 32-31 at that point.
“We had a chance to really put them in a bad spot in the first half,” Easterling said. “We missed a lot of easy shots in the lane and foul shots. We go into halftime just up five and we think it was OK. But if you’re up 12 or 14 in a regional championship, you get a little nervous.
“We were afraid it would come back and bite us and it did.”
Ashland Mykasa Robinson hit two big three-point baskets in the fourth quarter to give the Kittens leads. The biggest coming with 1:39 left in the game to go up by two at 39-37.
“Those were the biggest shots of the game,” Easterling said. “Both times they were behind and she stepped up and hit them. Sometimes that old ball doesn’t go in or bounces your way. We got them them the first two times and they got us here.”