For The Independent
WEST LIBERTY —
An East Carter possession midway through the second quarter of Thursday's Eastern Kentucky Conference girls final against Fleming County pretty much summed up what happened.
The Lady Raiders' Kristen Mayo dribbled to about mid-court when she saw Ashley Bayes lurking some 12 feet left of the basket. Instead of shooting, Bayes passed to Kelsey Stumbo for an uncontested layup.
East led 24-6 after Stumbo's score, and the Lady Raiders overwhelmed the Lady Panthers the rest of the way, 70-33.
Thursday's win marked the fourth straight time East (4-0) has vanquished an opponent by more than 20 points. To East coach Hager Easterling, however, there's lots that needs work in every facet of the game.
“It's Dec. 6, we won the EKC tournament,” Easterling said. “I'm happy for our kids, but it's not our ultimate goal.”
Mayo, meanwhile, isn't exactly surprised.
“We work hard as a team,” she said. “This year has not been a shock.”
What East did to Fleming County was nevertheless noteworthy. The Lady Raider defense forced 28 turnovers, which they converted to 28 points and limited the Lady Panthers to 22.2 percent shooting (10 of 45 from the field), while the bench scored 26 points to Fleming County's 15.
Stumbo and Megan Stickler each scored 14 points, and Haley Hall added 11. Stumbo also grabbed 12 rebounds.
Fleming County coach Kristy Orem cares more about developing her players into responsible leaders off the court and compete on it than field goals, free throws and fouls. As for last night …
“(Thursday), I failed,” she said.
Fleming County's (4-1) troubles began early, when the Lady Panthers committed three of their 17 first-half turnovers (which East eventually converted into 17 points) in less than a minute of the first quarter.
East (4-0) capitalized in myriad ways, starting with the first basket, when East's Bryanna Greenhill drove down the left side of the lane untouched for a layup.
Later in the first quarter, Mayo served one of her six assists when she found Greenhill alone across the lane for the layup.
East kept doing what worked: get the ball close to the basket. Stumbo's four points and assist on Mayo's two put the Lady Raiders up 12-4 after eight minutes.
East ran away from there.
Journey Steward and Cristi Peterson led the Lady Panthers with nine points apiece.
E. CARTER 12 22 14 22 — 70
FLEMING CO. 4 6 9 14 — 33
EAST CARTER: Mayo 5, Greenhill 6, Stickler 14, Stumbo 14, Steele 4, Boggs 2, Pennington 2, Bayes 4, Gee 7. Three-point goals: Stickler 2, Hall FT: 14-28. Team Fouls: 22.
FLEMING COUNTY: T. Taylor 1, Robinson 3, Boyd 7, Steward 9, M. Taylor 2, Ishmael 2, Peterson 9, Lytle 2. Three-point goals: none. FT: 15-28. Team fouls: 24.