Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
For a while last week, things were looking grim for the West Carter boys. They ended their first period down by three points against the Raceland Rams, 15-18, and in the second they just didn’t seem to be connecting on their shots, despite ample opportunity. With the Comet’s lackluster performance, and an energized Raceland team, the spread continued to grow first on a Raceland three-pointer, then a field goal, pair of foul shots, and another three-pointer. The Rams had stretched their lead to 13 points, 15-28, before Logan Berry connected with a basket to take the score to 17-28. It didn’t last long, though, as Raceland came back with another basket to take the score to 17-30.
A pair of foul shots from Sam Jones made the score 19-30. But Raceland scored again before Jones took another free throw for 20 and Tyson Webb scored on two more, making the score 22-32. Another Raceland field goal and pair of free throws took the Rams to 36, but Gage Leadingham and Jones each scored again before the period ended, leaving the Comets down by ten, 26-36, as the teams broke for half time.
Raceland scored first after the break, but a three-pointer and field goal from Webb, and a break away layup from Leadingham on a steal, took the Comets within five points, at 33-38. From there, it would stay a close, back and forth game, with the Comets teamwork, passing, and renewed vigor in the second half eventually giving them the edge, if only just so.
Landon Nichols scored next for the Comets, taking the score to 35-38, within a three-pointer of tying up the game, and it was Raceland’s turn to be rattled. They’d score one more point on a free throw, but Trevor Callahan’s basket took the score to 37-39. After another Raceland basket Nichols scored again for the Comets, keeping the West Carter team on basket behind the Rams at 39-41. Raceleand’s Landyn Newman took the score to 39-43, but a three pointer from Leadingham ended the third period 42-43.
Berry brought the Comets back into the lead as the final period opened, 44-43, and though the Rams would take the lead back on a three-pointer, it wouldn’t last long as Leadingham returned the favor, taking the score to 47-46. The Rams would hit yet another three-ponter, for a 47-49 lead. But a Callahan basket on the rebound tied things up again at 49 all with just under six minutes left in the game.
Raceland would take the lead again on a field goal, and add to it with another goal, 49-53. But a three-point shot from Webb brought the Comets back within a point. Raceland would score two points on free throws, bringing the score to 52-55. Nichols would score again though, making the score 54-55. Hunter Sammons then brought the Comets back into the lead on a pair of free throws, 56-55. Leadingham would score again, taking the West Carter score to 58, and the Rams would tie things up, 58-58, on three free throws.
It was still anybody’s game when Nichols scored again for the Comets, taking the score to 60-58 with just over half a minute left on the clock. With seconds left on the clock, Leadingham took the score to 62-58 on a pair of free throws, leaving Raceland without enough time to come back, even after ending the game on a three-pointer at the buzzer for a final score of 62-61.
“For two and a half quarters, they really had us on our heels,” coach Jeremy Webb said. “We weren’t playing very good basketball, then finally in that third quarter we finally got some traction and started playing a little better there the rest of the way and gave ourselves a chance to win, and our kids made enough plays to win it.”
Tyson Webb, Gage Leadingham, and Trevor Callahan were scoring leaders for the Comets, with Webb scoring 15 points on three three-pointers, a pair of field goals, and a pair of free throws, Leadingham 14 points on a pair of three-pointers, three field goals, and two free throws, and Callahan ten points on five field goals. Landon Nichols had eight points for the Comets, Hunter Sammons six points, Sam Jones five points, and Logan Berry four points.
It was a big turn around from the first half where Webb connected on one two-pointer, one three-pointer, and a pair of free throws for seven points, Callahan had six points on three two-point baskets, and Leadingham only had two points.
Coach said that turn-around and leadership was what he expected out of his senior boys, though.
“That’s senior leadership,” Webb said. “It’s what they’re capable of and it’s what we expect out of our seniors, and they took advantage of that opportunity.”
The Comets next home game is February 12, against Boyd County, at 7:30 p.m.
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