MONDAY--East Carter mowed down 16th Region opponents all season long.
Monday night, the Raiders took advantage of a game-opening blitz and their best 3-point shooting of the season to end a 24-year drought between regional championships.
Kyle Bair and Caleb Adams buried triples in rapid-fire fashion as East Carter burst out to an 8-0 lead and went on to defeat Fairview 48-38 at Morehead State University.
The Raiders are 22-1 inside the region and looking forward to an opportunity to do some damage elsewhere with a trip to Rupp Arena ahead.
“We made it a goal at the beginning of the season to make it here, and win this game,’’ said Adams, a senior guard who led the Raiders with 13 points.
Adams’ father, Vic, played on East Carter’s only other regional championship team in 1986.
“I haven’t told anybody else, but Dad said there was nothing like this feeling,’’ Caleb said. “He’s right. Nothing compares to it.”
Uncharacteristically, East Carter featured the 3-pointer in getting past Fairview for Brandon Baker’s first regional title in eight years as head coach at his alma mater.
East Carter came in shooting 27 percent from long range, including 0-for-10 in the team’s regional opener. But Adams, Bair and backup guard Koty Buck hit two 3-pointers apiece in a 7-for-12 barrage from behind the arc.
“That was phenomenal,’’ said Colt Barnhill, the team’s standout post player who was named tournament MVP. “It made my job a lot easier. When the guards are 2-for-2 and 2-for-3 out there, all I’ve got to worry about is rebounding and playing defense.’’
The 6-foot-7 Barnhill did an excellent defensive job on Fairview sophomore Mike Terry, limiting him to 3-for-10 shooting from the field.
“Colt did a great job of keeping a hand in his face all night,’’ Baker said.
Team effort earns Raiders comforting feeling of supremacy once again — after 24 years
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