By Grant Stevens - Sports Editor
Dec. 5, 2012 —
With the weight of high expectations on their shoulders, East Carter’s girls basketball team excelled in the first week of the 2012-2013 season.
The Lady Raiders degraded visiting Elliott County last Thursday night, 83-21. East picked up where they left off Saturday, this time making quick work of Menifee County, 62-29, in the first round of this year’s EKC Tournament in Grayson.
The first period was as balanced a scoring effort as a coach could hope for, with all five Lady Raider starters scratching the score column. Eighth-grade guard Kristen Mayo kicked her 16-point outing off right with seven points in the first eight minutes, including one three-pointer.
Kerie Steele and Megan Stickler also added four to help East’s girls take a 19-10 advantage into the second period.
The Lady Raiders hot shooting subsided a bit the following quarter. Two quick baskets at the end of the second, including one by Mayo, and a breakaway layup for Sarah Boggs assisted by Bryana Greenhill, helped to secure a comfortable 31-18 margin at the break.
Forcing double-digit turnovers on the night helped to create several fast-break opportunities for East Carter.
East Carter Head Coach Hager Easterling said he felt his team gave a solid defensive effort, but would like to see a cutback on silly fouls.
“I thought we looked good at times defensively tonight,” Easterling said. “We’re trying to body up on people and steal the ball off the dribble, when really the best way to get steals, is make the other team throw a bad pass. Too many fouls stop the game, and with the depth we have, we don’t want that to happen.”
That East Carter defense held the Lady Cats to a mere 11 points in the second half, helping to forge what ultimately turned into another dominant victory for the youthful squad from Grayson. Standout Menifee County guard Paige Warren managed only eight in the game.
In game which 10 Lady Raiders garnered baskets, Megan Stickler joined Mayo in double-figures with 10 points, while Greenhill had nine, Kelsey Stumbo and Steele both had seven.
In what is a return season for Greenhill, she joins Mayo and Stickler to form what has the early indications of a “big three” scoring tandem.
Easterling exuded confidence in his three scorers.
“A lot of teams are going to argue this, but I think those three players could end up being one of the best trifectas in the area,” Easterling said. “They can all score on the perimeter and they can take you off the dribble. And they’re unselfish, in my opinion, that’s the best attribute they possess.”
Following the win, the Lady Raiders played in the second round of the EKC Tournament Tuesday night after press time, taking on Russell in West Liberty.
Journal-Times will have more on how Easterling and his girls faired in next Wednesday’s sports.
Grant Stevens can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.