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Kylie Gilliam blocks a shot by Ashland's Morgan Bradley.

OLIVE HILL – West Carter Lady Comets bounced back in second half to claim victory, 63-59, in season opener against Ashland.

“They were ranked ahead of us in the preseason and it kind of put a little fire underneath the skin. We knew we could be better than them, especially going 2-0 against them last season. We deserved that spot ahead and we proved that tonight. Got off to a rough to a rough start but we definitely pulled it out in the third quarter. I am very proud of my team,” said captain and senior forward Reagan Adkins.

Timid play put the Lady Comets behind early. The Kittens were up 29-16 during the second quarter. The went into the second half down by 11.

“The nerves took over in the first half. We had two returning starters. The other three, this was their first ever varsity start. Once they work through that, you could see their confidence grow. It was like that first half they were a little unsure, a step behind, and weren’t sure where the were supposed to be,” said first year head Coach Faith Conn.

After the break, the Lady Comets found momentum behind sophomore guard Allie Stone.

“She is a player. She wants to win. She has the desire to win. She has the skills to win. She was ranked the number one player in the region and rightfully so. She comes out here and can take control of the game with just her presence,” said Conn.

Stone scored 14 points in the second half. Her and-one and three point bucket started the Lady Comets 13-2 run in the third quarter. They outscored the Kittens 22-12 to take a one point lead entering the fourth.

The third quarter tells the tale. You either come out and win the game because of your effort in that third quarter, or you come out flat and lose. Luckily, we came out on the good side of that.

The Lady Comets hung on to the lead. Kallie Burchett scored first in the fourth quarter followed by two free throws by Kara Jordan.

The game came down to free throws. The Kittens 47.1 percent from the line was not enough to get past West Carters shooting 80.8 percent. The Lady Comets made 21-26 free throw attempts.

With under a minute left, the Kittens closed the gap to a mere point 60-59. Reagan Adkins was shooting bonus to keep the Lady Comets ahead. She scored her first from the line but struck the rim on her second shot. The ball bounced loose and Adkins hustled to the rebound.

Adkins quickly turned the ball around and found Stone under the basket. Stone drew the foul and went to the line for the last two points.

Stone ended the night with 23 points and 11 rebounds. She shot two for four from three point range and was near perfect, shooting nine for ten from the free throw line.

Reagan Adkins added 12 points and eight rebounds. Burchett and Gilliam scored nine points apiece. Jordan and Elizabeth Middleton each tallied four points. Katie Chandler made her only attempt for two points.

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