West Carter boys’ basketball looks to rise above district competition.
The Comets fell short of claiming victory against Elliott County in the 62nd District championship.
After squeaking by with a triple overtime win, 62-59, over their East Carter rivals, the Comets fell just three points shy of upsetting last season’s 16th Region favorite Elliott County.
Elliott County was undefeated in region play during the regular season. With Tanner Dickerson and Korbin Spencer, the region was pinning them to advance to the state tournament.
West fought tooth and nail to upset the Lions, but ultimately fell, 60-58. The Lions graduated both Dickerson and Spencer leaving them a lot of holes to fill.
With East Carter losing handful of seniors and Morgan losing Garrett Adkins and Blake Evans, the 62nd District remains wide open.
The Comets lost two major contributors in Ethan Adkins and Rodney Evans. Adkins and Evans combined for 19.9 points per game and 11.5 rebounds.
The Comets also graduated Blake Skaggs who added 6.1 rebounds per game. Adkins led the Comets in rebounds averaging 7.6 rebounds per game.
As a team, the Comets averaged 35.4 rebounds per game making them one of the top rebounding teams in the state. They finished 16th overall in rebounds, according to the KHSAA 2018-2019 boys’ basketball leaderboards.
The Comets return leading scorers Braden Leadingham and Tyson Webb.
Leadingham led the Comets with 13.5 points per game and added 4.9 rebounds. Leadingham had a double double in 62nd District championship game. He scored 19 points and pulled down ten rebounds.
Webb took several turns leading the Comets to victory in their 16-13 finish last season. He averaged 11.1 points per game and led the Comets with 19 points in their final game to Rowan County in the 16th Region tournament.
The Comets have always relied on a balanced team effort and this year will be no exception.
Returning as seniors, Evan Jordan and Trace Tackett are expected to step up and fill the roles of last year’s seniors.
Jordan averaged 6.2 points per game and 3.8 rebounds. He had the best free throw percentage shooting 84.9 from the free throw line and had an exceptional shot selection from three point range. He scored 15 three-pointers and shot 51.7 percent from three-point range.
Tackett averaged 7.3 points per game. He scored the most points from three-point range with 39 baskets from outside the arch.
The Comets expect help from seniors Dominick Dean, Nick James and Ben Wilburn. The Comets have six seniors.
Also among this year’s returning varsity players is junior Trevor Callahan. He played all 29 games and averaged 2.2 points per game and 3.0 rebounds.
The Comets’ home opener is Dec. 3 against Fairview before the first game of the EKC tournament against Russell, also to be played at West Carter.
The Comets face district opponent Morgan County on the road in the second week of the season.
Come the third week of the season, the Comets turn up the competition facing some out of region opponents at the Kentucky Bank Classic held Rowan County Senior High School Dec. 20, followed by the Mountain Schoolboy Classic at Belfry the following week. They are set to play Fredrick Douglas, Shelby Valley and Belfry in the Mountain Schoolboy Classic.
They will start the new year with back-to-back district games against Morgan County, Jan. 3, and East Carter, Jan. 9.