Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

January 11, 2013

West squeezes by Fairview into All ‘A’

WESTWOOD — West Carter coach Jeremy Webb said the season’s been a struggle. But on Thursday night his team finally got another notch in the win column.

West Carter survived several late runs to hold off Fairview, 60-55, in what was essentially a play-in game for the 16th Region All “A” Classic.

The win is only the second of the season for the Comets, but Webb gets a sense from his players that his team is starting to a turn a corner.

“Our guys’ attitude and effort has still been there,” Webb said. “They’re continuing to work and do what we’ve asked of them. And as long as we’re doing that it’s an enjoyable group to coach and the wins will come for us.”

The Comets faced unusual territory on Thursday. Leading scorer Kyle Brown, who averages 23.6 points per game, struggled in the first half. He scored just eight points on 3-of-10 shooting.

Brown finished with 18 points, but what impressed Webb the most was the ability of Dustin Black to step up and hit shots.

Black had 15 points and hopefully gained the confidence to be a second scorer that West Carter needs, Webb said.

“Kyle gets the attention of most defenses, there is no secret about that,” Webb said. “He did a good job of moving the ball to his teammates tonight, and the other guys stepped up. We believe Dustin can be that second scoring threat for us behind Kyle.”

West Carter struggled keeping Fairview down, especially Eagles guard Isaiah King in the first half.

King went 5 of 6 in the first half, including three 3-pointers, all from well behind the arc. He also mixed it up with one off-balance bank 3-pointer and the other at the first quarter buzzer.

But King injured his hand in the first half, and then had trouble in the second, going 0 of 7 from the floor. He finished with a team-high 15 points.

“We don’t like to make excuses, but he was feeling it in the first half,” Fairview coach Derek Cooksey said. “He came down awkwardly, and we had the trainer look at it, but he said he wanted to go. There is no doubt it affected him, but he played great defense and provided great leadership for us.”

Fairview (8-8) was missing seniors Elijah King and Devon Turner, who both were at football All-Star games to be held this weekend.

But Cooksey said it’s good to get other guys experience, as only one player who played for the Eagles on Thursday had any varsity experience coming into season.

“We have guys who have opportunities to further their careers in other sports,” Cooksey said. “We want to support them and hopefully when they get back they’ll join us. But this is only going to help us with getting younger kids in there.”

With Fairview searching for scoring, West Carter (2-11) opened up a 40-30 lead with four minutes left in the third quarter.

Fairview answered with

9-0 run to end the quarter to trail by just one.

The Comets then jumped to a seven-point lead in the fourth, but instead of faltering, Webb was proud to watch his team close it out for him.

“I didn’t know how they would play in a close game,” Webb said. “We’ve never been in that situation with a lead ... In the second half Fairview fought back, but we never relinquished the lead.”

West Carter plays Raceland in the opening round of the 16th Region All “A” Classic on Satuday at Raceland.

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