Miranda H. Lewis
Carter County Times
Rivalry games have a way of getting athletes to compete at a higher level than they knew they could. They bring the adrenaline to an all-time high and are sure to dazzle a crowd every single time.
Dating back decades, the East Carter Raiders and West Carter Comets rivalry has done exactly that for the fans across all sports, with basketball remaining a top-ticket event.
On Friday, the hosting Raiders (12-8) extended their win streak over a 4-15 West Carter team.
East Carter coach, Cole Brammer, said district matchups are always good games and spark extra emotion fans may not see against other opponents.
“Throughout the game I told our guys, there is a lot of high emotion in East/West games. Different things go into these games. It is not always going to be pretty,” he said.
Connor Skaggs opened the game with back-to-back buckets in the first frame to give the Raiders a quick 4-0 lead.
Brett Dailey went two for two from the charity stripe to put West Carter on the board at the 4:14 mark.
Sharpshooter Evan Goodman responded with a triple on the ensuing possession, though, taking the score to 7-2.
Jacob Waddell scored a deuce on an inbound play for the Comets first field goal of the game.
Then Gavin Sexton connected on a trey to put the Raiders into double digits on the board.
Waddell responded with a jumper to close out the first frame, 10-6.
Blake Hall opened the second frame with an uncontested bucket out of transition.
An 8-0 Comet run led by Nathan Webb and Waddell cut the Raiders lead to a 17-14 score late in the second.
Ty Scott snapped a two-minute scoring drought for the Raiders and increased their lead back to five with less than a minute remaining in the quarter.
Hall ushered the teams into intermission from the charity stripe.
East held a 21-14 advantage at the half.
The Comets appeared ready to give the Raiders an upset scare, as they held them to 11 points or less in the first three frames.
West Carter narrowed their deficit to 31-21 to close out the third quarter.
Following a quiet start, the court heated up for the Raiders in the final stanza with much thanks to Hall.
Leading by only ten points, Hall turned it up another notch in the fourth quarter, starting the period on a personal 8-0 run.
Hall led the Raiders with a game-high 18 points, 16 of which came in the second half to put an exclamation point on East Carter’s win.
“Credit to him for staying the course and sticking in there in the fourth quarter the way that he did,” said Brammer of Hall. “I am proud of him, things weren’t really going his way tonight and he found a way to make it go his way when it mattered.”
Goodman chipped in ten points for the Raiders and Skaggs added nine points and 11 rebounds.
East Carter banged home five 3-pointers, most of them timely, to keep the Comets comfortably at bay throughout the game.
They rolled to the 54-26 victory to improve to 4-0 in district play.
Brammer acknowledged his team’s defense but noted that transition is key for his squad.
“Transition is how you’ve got to play. When things are stagnant, you’re not making shots, you’re not moving the ball very well, you need to get out in transition and get some easy baskets,” he said.
The Comet’s got a team high ten points from Jacob Waddell, followed by nine points from Webb.
Coach Jeremy Webb was pleased with Waddell’s performance.
“He played well, he’s really coming on as the season has went along,” Webb said. “He’s understanding how and when to score the basketball. He is a big strong kid, probably our strongest kid and because of that he’s getting opportunities around the basket and he’s taking advantage of it.”
“He had four threes against Raceland earlier this week so he can score from the perimeter as well, he’s going to be a really nice player for us,” Webb continued.
East Carter will attempt to have that same recipe for success when they host 16th Region opponent Raceland on Wednesday. West Carter hopes to bounce back that same evening as they host Belfry.
“I am playing a really young team. We have nine guys out there on the floor. One senior, a couple of juniors, and the rest are sophomores and freshmen. The good thing is we will get all of our guys back except for one. All this is good experience and understanding the situation going forward,” said Webb.
He ended on a positive note, “We are going to keep playing hard. And every opportunity we get to take the floor is more and more experience.”
East Carter (54) – Hall 18, Goodman 10, Skaggs 9, Tate Scott 6, Sexton 6, Ty Scott 5. FG PCT:42.2 FT Pct.:78.6. 3-pointers: 5-14 (Sexton 2-4, Goodman 2-6, Hall 1-1, Ty Scott 0-3). PF:11. Fouled out: None. Turnovers:16.
West Carter (26) – Waddell 10, Webb 9, Dailey 4, Maddix 3. FG PCT:19.5 FT Pct.:87.5. 3-pointers: 3-11 (Webb 2-5, Maddix 1-3, Waddell 0-1, Rayburn 0-2). PF:12. Fouled out: None. Turnovers:11.
East 10 11 10 23 – 54
West 6 8 7 5 – 26
Contact the writer at email@example.com