OLIVE HILL There was no tribal council Friday and nobody was voted off an island, but West Carter’s girls basketball team persevered against East Carter as surely as the participants on Survivor 40.
The Lady Comets left John “Hop” Brown Court with a 61-54 win behind 13 points each from Allie Stone, Becca Nolen and Ragan Adkins.
West (7-5, 31 62nd District seeding) is 5-1 over its last six. Maybe more importantly: the Lady Comets took out the Lady Raiders for the seventh time in eight meetings over the last two-plus seasons. West coach Faith Conn was a kind of telephoto lens because she looked at the long term.
“This has been a good year for us,” she said. “Come March, we’ll be good to go.”
Nolen and Stone offered the same word to describe the proceedings – survive.
“Especially beating our county rival,” Nolen said.
Another of some 28 words that rhyme with survive – deprive – fit West’s defense. It allowed East (10-5, 3-1) to shoot 59.1% in the first half but only 34.8% in the second, a total of 46.5% for the game.
What was more, the Lady Comets converted 20 turnovers into 19 points and stole 14 passes, enough to neutralize East’s 24-9 edge in scoring from 3-point distance and 14-9 advantage in bench scoring. Nolen and Kallie Burchett had five and four steals, respectively.
One was noteworthy. Nolen’s thievery became a three-point play that gave West a 36-31 advantage three minutes into the third quarter.
East coach Jeff Damron credited West’s zone trap for the miscues. The Lady Raiders, meanwhile, could’ve used “revive” to sum up how they performed. After West opened a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game, East eventually pulled to within 15-14 when Jaelyn Steele fed Avery Hall. The Lady Raiders were “alive,” taking a 25-21 lead, midway through the second quarter.
A second example of Lady Raider revival: Haley Campbell’s 3-pointer (she and Halle Swanagan led East with 10 points apiece), which became a 41-40 lead.
“I like the energy we come out with, especially overall in the game,” East coach Jeff Damron said.
You should also have noticed West unleashing three one-person rallies: Kylie Gilliam’s five points to start the game; Nolen, seven points in a little more than a minute, giving West a 40-32 lead midway through the third quarter; and Adkins, who scored the Lady Comets’ last six points.
West could thus forget about Tuesday’s 66-49 debacle at Huntington St. Joseph. Nolen long ago learned to cope with a heavy brace on her right knee – the result of two surgeries.
“You can’t live scared,” Nolen said.