OLIVE HILL Good things come to those who wait.

West Carter’s Allie Stone can attest to that statement after the Comets semifinal matchup with Menifee County in the All “A” Classic.

West Carter went to the locker room leading 31-23 with Stone netting only 10 points in the first half. She had that and more in the third as West Carter withstood a final rally from Menifee County for a 70-60 win on John “Hop” Brown Court.

Stone paced the Comets with 26, dropping 13 of those in the third stanza while keeping everyone else wearing white involved in the offensive attack. In the end, West Carter had three players finish in double figures, with two others missing the mark by a combined three points.

“That is something we try to stress to everybody is the more you score, the easier it is for everybody to score,” West Carter coach Faith Conn said. “It doesn’t have to be hard work. It can be easy buckets. To see that happen tonight after we have been working on that for about three weeks, it was really good to see.”

Beth Middleton was a big piece of that puzzle for the Comets as she dropped 16 points, 11 in the first half and was a perfect 4 of 4 from downtown. Mix in Lexi Bond, who added 10 by streaking to the basket when Stone faced double and sometimes, triple teams and West Carter had the visiting Wildcats right where they wanted them.

“Everyone looks to go double Allie, so her finding those open people in the first half opens her up more in the second half,” Conn said. “For her to find her rhythm after trying to get everybody on the team involved is really good for her.”

Menifee County pulled to within seven midway through the third on a Kelsie Woodard bucket but could not contain Stone and Comets over the final four minutes of the frame as the deficit was 53-36 to start the fourth.

“We missed a couple of defensive assignments and they got on a roll a little bit,” Menifee County coach Paul Ricker said. “When Allie Stone gets going, she’s a super talented player. When she gets confidence, she’s tough to guard. We didn’t do a good job of denying her the ball like we practiced. I don’t think we did a good job on that until about four minutes to play in the fourth quarter.”

Stone netted 10 of the Comets 12 points over the span after patiently waiting on her chance to attack the rim.

“Whenever we need a bucket, she figures it out,” Conn said of Stone. “In the first and second quarter, we were still trying to figure out their defense a little bit. In the third quarter, I think they switched up their defense a little bit and I think he helped us score some.”

As for the Wildcats, they managed only five points over the final four minutes of the third, something Ricker pointed out as a major turning point of the contest.

“In the third quarter, we just could not get a shot to fall,” Ricker said. “We had some open looks and missed some easy ones. My team is a pretty good free throw shooting team and we didn’t shoot the free throws very well. Hats off to them, they defended well and I felt they outworked us on rebounds, which is something we had done well over the last few games, but we’ve got some things we have to fix.”

West Carter dominated Menifee County on the glass to the tune of 37-24 with Woodard claiming 15 for the Wildcats to add to her 24 points.

“In the second half I felt we really stepped it up,” Conn said of the pressure on Woodard. “She scored really well with that over-the-top pass, so we switched up and tried to stay behind her and I think that kind of slowed her down a little bit. She’s bigger than us and she’s going to score. She’s great so all we could do was try to slow her down.”

West Carter looked poised to run Menifee County out of the gymnasium in the final stanza after an Amelia Henderson bucket pushed the lead to 19 with 5:32 to play. But back-to-back Jaycee Gevedon triples and a pair of Woodard freebies trimmed the Comets lead to 62-52 with three to play in regulation.

“It was big and it gave us a chance and that’s all you can ask for,” Ricker said of the Gevedon triples. “When you get down 18 or 20, you’ve got two choices. Put the subs in and call it a night or keep fighting. If you look at our season, we’ve been down 20 numerous times and this is the first game we have lost after being down that much. I knew we had a bit of a run in us, but we just couldn’t get any stops and we have to do a better job of that.”

Gevedon added 12 in the losing effort for the Wildcats.

West Carter will meet Elliott County Friday night for the 16th Region All “A” Championship in hopes of securing their sixth consecutive title.  

 

MENIFEE CO.    13    10    13    24    —    60

W. CARTER        13    18    22    17     —    70

Menifee Co. (60)—Gevedon 12, Parks 7, Baker 9, Harris 3, Wells 2, Deihl, Wells 2, Woodard 24, Hall 1. 3-Pt. FG:4-13(Gevedon 2, Harris, Woodard). FT: 10-17. Fouls: 17. Fouled out: Baker.

West Carter (70)— Burton 8, Middleton 16, Stone 26, Kinney, Bond 10, A. Henderson 9, H. Henderson 1. 3-Pt. FG: 6-12(Middleton 4, Stone, A. Henderson). FT: 12-16. Fouls: 12.

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