By Corbin Marshall
Jan. 30, 2013 — The familiar electricity of a rivalry game filled the air on Saturday, as West Carter stepped into the gymnasium of East Carter High School for their second matchup of the season.
Notorious for filling the stands, this meeting of East and West would be no exception. A full parking lot and fuller gymnasium welcomed the teams with eager anticipation. Even before tipoff, you could feel the competition building between opposing student sections.
This fan-rivalry brought more action than most of the first half of the game, however. With a stale opening and poor performance by East Carter, it appeared as though the Comets would walk away with the “W” quite easily. But as the night continued the Raiders reminded everyone why this matchup merits so much excitement. The match ended in a close 50-47 West Carter victory.
The opening period would be the least exciting quarter of the night, with a total of 11 points scored by both teams combined. East had the slight advantage most of this period, but West would take the lead at 6 – 5 in the last few moments and hold the lead the rest of the evening. The atmosphere was, if nothing else, stale for the first 45 minutes of the evening.
The second period would prove just as ugly for East, leaving little to no promise for the Raiders. A self-evaluation during the break clearly helped East in the second half, but West Carter continued to hold its dominance and proved victorious. This was a very different outcome from the last time these teams met, and many East fans ended the night in disappointment.
Jacob Layne of West Carter would lead the evening in scoring with 17 points, followed by Kyle Brown with 12. Dalton Spurlock and Dustin Black both had 9 points, and Tristian Mitchell provided 3.
“We’re obviously pleased with it being a rivalry game against a very good basketball team,” West Carter Coach Jeremy Webb said. “We did a fine job. Defensively we did a good job trying to limit their open looks, and when they did miss, we did a good job blocking out and rebounding. I’ve definitely got to give our guys credit for putting out a good effort tonight.”
The biggest moments of the game didn’t come until the last quarter. East trailed by ten points to West, but a few big plays by senior Quinn Huddle gave the Raiders a fighting chance.
“We just weren’t ready to go on defense and you have to give credit to West Carter,” Huddle said. “They came out hard and ready to play, and we just came out flat tonight. We can’t do that in an East–West game. Crazy things happen in our rivalry games.”
Huddle had 11 points on the night, and Connor Greene had 14. Other East Carter scorers included Bradley Marsh with 8, Kyle Stewart with 6, Cole Brammer with 4, and Trenton Welsh with 4 point. While the Raiders were disappointed, they are ready to move on.
“We’ve gotta keep battling and keep working. Districts are in a few weeks and we’re probably going to see them again,” said Huddle.
West Carter is also looking ahead.
“I don’t know what seed we’re going to end up being, but you’re going to have to bring it every single night,” Webb said. “It’s always a very closely played tournament, and I wouldn’t expect anything but that. If we end up playing East again in post-season, it would be on their home floor this so it obviously be a battle for us, but we’re ready for whatever seed we end up with.”
East plays host to Boyd County on Thursday and Rowan County on Friday.
West played host to Fleming Tuesday after press time and will face Powell at home on Friday.