By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
The West Carter Lady Raiders played one round of ball before having their 16th region dreams cut short. The boys did a little better, making it into the second round before losing in overtime play. But it was the Ashland Paul Blazer teams that shut both down.
West Carter Girls
The West Carter girls started out strong, ending the first period up on the Kittens, 15-13, after an Ashland three-pointer at the buzzer cut their lead to two.
The game went back and forth in the second period, with each side exchanging the lead. After getting up by three over the Comets on penalty shots, a bucket by Allie Stone and three-pointer by Millie Henderson gave West Carter the lead back, 22-20, just before the 3 minute mark. Turnabout by Ashland, though, put the Kittens up by three, 22-25 after a timeout and another minute of play. As the first half came to a close the Kittens were still up, but only by two points, 26-28.
The Blazer team would stretch that lead in the second half, ending the third period up by nine points, 37-46. But, even with a fourth period rally, the Comets just couldn’t catch the Kittens. They ended the game with a four point loss, 56-60.
Ultimately it was foul shots that lost the game for the Comets. Several attempted rallies in the second half ended with a foul and Blazer free-throw. The Kittens scored 15 points on free throws, on 26 attempts.
West Carter Boys
On the boys side, the Comets rolled over Raceland in their first game, with an 18 point victory, 72-54, to proceed to the second round – and a face off with the Paul Blazer Tomcats – the day after the Lady Comets loss to the Kittens.
The West Carter boys ended the first period down by eight points, with a score of 11-19.
Tyson Webb scored first in the second period to narrow the gap to six points, but the Tomcats answered, and after a fairly quick paced back-and-forth period, the Comets ended the first half down by four points, 27-31.
In the second half the Comets continued to rally, tying the game up in the third period on a basket from Tyson Webb at the 3:10 mark and taking their first lead of the game on a free throw for a score of 42-41. It didn’t last long, with a quick pair of Blazer three-pointers putting the Tomcats back out in front by five points as they approached the two minute mark. Trevor Callahan then whittled the Ashland lead back down to three points. After a pair of free throws, though, the Tomcats were back up by five, ending the period 44-49.
The Comets weren’t ready to give up yet, though. They picked away at the Blazer lead, taking it back on a layup by Gage Leadingham at 5:23 that put the West Carter boys ahead, 50-49. Though the Tomcats didn’t lay down and give up, for a few seconds – just around 10 of them – it looked like it was the Comets game. They were up by three points, 63-60, as the clock ticked down, but Blazer’s Colin Porter hit a three-point shot at the buzzer to tie the game and take the boys into overtime.
With four more minutes added to the clock, West Carter took possession first, but at the end of the overtime period it was 69-76 Tomcats.
It was fouls that hurt the West Carter boys too. The team finished the game without Sammons, Leadingham, or Jones due to fouls. The Tomcats’ first eight points in the overtime period were on foul shots, with 11 of their 13 total overtime points coming on free throws.
Tyson Webb was the clear points leader for the Comets, scoring 36 points on 12 field goals and as many free throws. Trevor Callahan had 13 points, Gage Leadingham eight, Sam Jones five, Landon Nichols four and Hunter Sammons three.
Nichols led on rebounds, with eight, followed by Callahan and Logan Berry, with seven each, Leadingham with six, Webb with three, Sammons with two, and Jones with one.
Seventeen of the Comets points came on free throws, out of 21 attempts. The Tomcats scored 17 of their points on free throws as well, on 26 attempts. But 11 of those Tomcat 17 came in that final overtime period, really turning the tide of the game against the Comets.
The West Carter Comets end their season with a 13-7 win/loss record, and the 62nd District Championship, while the Lady Comets ended their season with a 14-8 record and the 62nd District Championsip. The boys team also won the 16th Region All A Classic, this season, with a victory over Raceland.
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