CNHI News Service
Hager Easterling was not happy with his team’s performance on defense in Thursday’s win over Bracken County in the Mr. Micro Computers Ohio River Classic.
So much, in fact, there was an impromptu film session before Friday’s semifinal with Lawrence County to let them see for themselves.
“They didn’t have a whole lot to say,” Easterling said. “When you’re watching that tape it’s not faked. When you’re getting blown by off the dribble and not rotating or boxing out, you can’t discount it.”
The message was received loud and clear.
East Carter defeated Lawrence County 71-24. Energy and body language were much different as the Lady Raiders turned the Lady Dawgs over 21 times, holding them to just five points in the second half.
“We got what we wanted to out of pressure,” Easterling said. “We had Lawrence County out-talented but they continued to play hard. It was good to see our kids respond after our lack of effort on the defensive end in the Bracken County game.”
One player who took Easterling’s message to heart was junior Ashley Bayes, who came off the bench to lead East (11-1) with 13 points and nine rebounds, including five offensive boards to earn Player of the Game honors.
“Ashley is very capable of helping this team but she needs to be more consistent,” Easterling said. “She sometimes plays too nervous but should be playing more aggressive and being confident with herself. She did that today by driving to the basket and grabbing some big rebounds. When she’s confident, we all can see the results.”
Lawrence County (3-6) scored a quick four points to start the game before going ice cold for the rest of the first quarter, falling down 23-6. They started the second period on an 8-0 run to get within nine points. But East’s pressure held the Lady Dawgs to just four baskets the rest of the way.
“Our team is still young and they were very intimidated by East Carter this evening,” Lawrence County coach Melinda Feltner said. “We’re still trying to find ourselves. We’re struggling right now but we’re still building on positive things. We are better than how we played (Friday).”
East Carter moves on to the finals to face 9-2 Russell after the Lady Devils defeated Henry County.
“Everybody talks about East Carter, Ashland, Boyd County and Lewis County being the top four teams in the region, Russell has beaten the only team out of that group right now,” Easterling said.
LAWRENCE 6 13 3 2 — 24
EAST CARTER 23 13 22 13 — 71
Lawrence County (24) — Cyrus 7, Hay 6, Fitch 5, Williamson 2, Clevenger 2, Chapman 2. Fouled out: None. FT: 5-6. 3-pt FGs: 1 (Fitch).
East Carter (71) — Bayes 13, Stickler 11, Greenhill 10, Mayo 9, Stumbo 9, Pennington 7, Brainard 6, Limmings 5, Hall 1. Fouled out: None. FT: 10-19. 3-pt FGs: 5 (Greenhill 2, Mayo, Pennington, Bayes).
Henry County 36
RACELAND Russell improved to 9-2 with a close win over Henry County on Friday.
The Lady Devils were led by Maggie Jachimczuk’s 12 points as they moved into the championship game, in which they will take on East Carter at 4:45 today.
Russell used a 14-8 advantage in the second quarter to create separation.
Jachimczuk was named Player of the Game.
HENRY CO. 6 8 12 10 — 36
RUSSELL 6 14 11 11 — 42
Henry County (36) — Bramblett 5, Coomes 3, Pennington 10, Clark 15, Hughes 2, Payton 1.
Russell (42) — Mad. Darnell 6, Maynard 2, Berry 6, May 3, Huddleston 5, Jachimczuk 12, Carter 8.
Villa Madonna 32
RACELAND The Lady Rams got 12 points from Lacee Penix and 10 points and 10 rebounds from Krystal Keeton as Raceland moved on in the consolation bracket.
Keeton was named Player of the Game.
Raceland plays Bracken County today at 1:45.
RACELAND 12 10 16 6 — 44
V. MADONNA 4 8 7 13 — 32
Raceland (44) — Penix 12, Vanderhoof 6, Mackie 4, Keeton 10, Sipps 7, Bryant 3, Johnson 2.
Villa Madonna (32) — Perry 10, Hengge 10, Aytes 5, Junker 7.