By Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
The West Carter boys and girls basketball teams are both having fantastic seasons despite the damper COVID-19 has put on games.
Both teams brought home the 62nd District Championships last week for the school, with the boys beating Elliott County on Wednesday night and the girls triumphing over Morgan County to take their title the next evening.
The boys started out strong against the Elliott County Lions, ending the first period up by seven points, 16-9. The Lions started whittling away at that lead early in the second period, though, starting off with a three pointer and taking the Comets lead to four. But the Comets answered with a three pointer of their own from Trevor Callahan. The Lions would keep cutting into that lead, adding four more points and taking the score to 19-16, but with two minutes left in the half the Comets scored twice more, taking the score to 23-16 before Elliott scored on a free throw to end the half 23-17.
The Comets finished the game with a 43-35 victory over Elliott County, making them the 2021 62nd District Champions.
Tyson Webb scored 14 points for West Carter, with four goals, a three-pointer, and three successful free throws. Gage Leadingham, shooting 100 percent on field goals and three-pointers, added 13 points to the Comets total on a goal, two three-pointers, and five free throws. Sam Jones and Callahan each scored seven points and Landon Nichols added two points on free throws.
There was no rest for the victors, though. They were back out three days later, on Saturday night, to beat Raceland 72-54 and start their bid for the 16th Region championship.
The Lady Comets brought home their 62nd District win the night after the West Carter boys, in a 55-48 win over Morgan County.
Autumn Ross scored first, for Morgan County, hitting a three-pointer 15 seconds into the first period. Beth Middleton scored for the Lady Comets before the minute was up, though, putting the score at 2-3. Kylie Gilliam put West in the lead with the team’s second basket of the period. Morgan then reclaimed the lead on a pair of free-throws, but an Allie Stone basket took West to 6-5 over the Cougars. Morgan added another three points on a basket and free throw, however, to take the lead back and set the score at 6-8. Another basket by Jenna Hampton took Morgan County to a four point lead. Gilliam cut the lead with a long arc shot, though, before quickly following up with another shot to tie the game as the period wound down. Then, with just over a minute left in the game, Middleton connected with a three-pointer to put West Carter up 13-10, and as the final seconds ticked down Lexi Bond added another two points to end the period 15-10.
The teams ended the first half with the same point spread, 28 West Carter to 23 Morgan County.
Morgan took that lead back in the third period though, getting up by six, to 30-36, before a bucket by Gilliam cut the lead back down to four and breaking a six point Cougars scoring streak. Allie Stone hit a basket for 34-36 and added another point with a free throw to make the score 35-36. Bond then took the West lead back with a layup, putting the Comets at 37, but a Ross three-pointer gave Morgan the lead again. Another Morgan County basket and a Stone basket at the buzzer ended the period with a 39-41 Morgan County lead. Morgan would only add another seven points in the final period, though, and the Lady Comets would end the game with a seven point win over the Cougars, 55-48.
The West Carter girls play their first game in the 16th Region tonight, against Ashland Paul Blazer. Ashland is rated one step above West Carter in the region, earning more points by playing – and losing – two more games than the West Carter girls. The Lady Comets, with a win-loss record of 14-7, have an RPI of .57513 to Blazer’s 14-9 and .58906.
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