OLIVE HILL The boys 16th Region All “A” Classic championship trophy Elliott County brought in a box to West Carter's John “Hop” Brown Court on Monday stayed in gold-plated glory in the Comets' lobby on Friday.

West Carter claimed its third straight title and fifth overall, but the 52-46 win over Elliott County was harder than cleaning Tom T. Hall Boulevard with a toothbrush. After racing to a 23-3 lead two minutes into the second quarter, the Lions closed to within 43-40 with 3:14 to go.

“You know the run's coming,” Comets coach Jeremy Webb said. “(Elliott County's) a good basketball team, they've won a lot of basketball games, so you know that run's going to flip and it's going to come our way.

“You just hope that your kids are disciplined enough and good enough and taking care of the basketball to be able to convert enough opportunities to settle things out.”

West Carter won for multiple reasons. Jackson Bond, Brett Dailey and Landon Nichols scored 16, 15 and 14 points, respectively. The Comets posted a 17-of-20 showing from the free throw line, and the defense held Elliott County to 19 of 50 from the field.

“One of our keys was to hold them under 50 points as a team,” Webb said. “We felt like if we could do that, we would be successful.”

Lions coach Greg Adkins worried about two things: West Carter's (6-6) overall physicality and Nichols crashing the rim. His defensive strategy: an amalgam of 2-3 zone, half-court trap and man-to-man. He wasn't wedded to any one thing.

“If it sticks, that's what we'll do,” Adkins said before the game.

The first-half problem for the Lions was, not a lot stuck.

The Lions' combo of Taylor Whitley and Eli Griffith held Nichols without a field goal after 16 minutes. What the defense did not do: contain Dailey or Bond.

Dailey, who averaged a smidge over six points going into Friday, opened with a 3 from the top of the key; he was 3 for 5 from distance on the way to 11 first-half points. Bond added five points in a little more than a minute.

The result: Comets, 18-3.

“A lot of intensity,” Dailey said. “We played hard.”

Adkins praised West Carter's defense.

“I thought the first seconds of the game we rushed a little more than we needed to do,” he said. “We were playing with a couple injuries we hadn't discussed.

“There's no excuses; we've got some time off now. We'll get healed up and come back full strength.”

West Carter's man-to-man was stickier than 20 gallons of syrup in first half. Elliott County was 5 of 16 from the field in the first half, and the Lions didn't score their first points until Ryland Brickey's 3 with a little more than a minute to go in the first quarter.

The Comets' offense stalled in the second stanza. After Dailey's bucket with 4:32 left – not another point until Nichols's two free throws with 32 seconds to go.

Elliott County started its rally in the third quarter with a 6-2 string over four minutes. Cam Adams and Whitley each had two points.

The Lions closed to 45-42 on Nathaniel Buckner's (12 points, nine rebounds) bucket. After that, West Carter clinched the win by hitting nine of 10 free throws.

“I don't know if it's maybe a little bit of fatigue on our behalf,” Webb said. “You saw us starting to stand a little bit defensively.”

The Comets meet Todd County Central, which beat Metcalfe County, 72-76, in the Fourth Region All "A" final in the opening round of the state small-school tournament at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 27 at Eastern Kentucky University's McBrayer Arena.

“I think we're just finally coming together,” Nichols said. “In the long run, we'll be all right.”

ELLIOTT CO. FG FT REB TP

Fannin 0-0 0 0

E. Griffith 3-9 0-0 2 6

Adams 3-11 0-0 7 8

Whitley 2-6 4-4 6 8

G. Griffith 3-10 1-5 2 7

Holbrook 0-0 0-0 0 0

Sturgill 1-2 0-1 1 2

Brickey 1-2 0-0 0 3

Buckner 6-10 0-1 9 12

Team 1

TOTALS 19-50 5-10 28 46

FG Pct.: 38.0. FT Pct: 50.0. 3-point FG: 3-17 (E. Griffith 0-4, Adams 2-7, Whitley 0-1, G. Grtiffith 0-2, Sturgill 0-1, Brickey 1-2). PF: 20. Fouled out: E. Griffith. Turnovers: 13.

WEST CARTER FG FT REB TP

Dailey 5-9 2-2 2 15

Bond 4-12 6-7 5 16

L. Nichols 3-6 8-8 9 14

Jones 2-3 0-0 3 4

Fuston 0-0 0-0 1 0

Boggs 1-1 0-1 5 2

McGlone 0-3 1-2 2 1

Rayburn 0-0 0-0 0 0

Team 1

TOTALS 15-34 17-20 28 52

FG Pct.: 44.1. FT Pct: 85.0. 3-point FG: 5-15 (Dailey 3-6, Bond 2-6, Jones 0-1, McGlone 0-2). PF: 14. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 15.

ELLIOTT CO. 3 11 12 20 – 46

WEST CARTER 18 9 8 17 – 52

Officials: Dave Anderson, Maurio McKissick and Brian Keltner.

Trending Video