OLIVE HILL West Carter’s destiny in the 16th Region All “A” Classic seems to be set in Stone.

Allie Stone has now been a part of six small-school region championships and the Comets are on their way to another state tournament after defeating Elliott County, 62-50, at John “Hop” Brown Court on Friday night.

“It’s the most important game we have played all season,” Stone said. “We came in with the energy tonight. To finish off the streak in my senior year, it means a lot to me.”

Extending the region streak wasn’t the only milestone. Stone opened her scoring with a triple, then recorded a putback with 4:06 remaining in the first quarter to reach 3,000 points for her career. She is the only player, male or female, to accomplish the feat at West Carter.

The senior guard becomes the 26th player in KHSAA history to reach that point plateau and just the second region player, behind Boyd County alumna Savannah Wheeler.

“To know I’m the only one who has done it (as a Comet), it’s really special,” Stone said. “It’s always been a goal of mine. I didn’t know if it could happen, but now that it has as a senior, it’s really crazy to think about.”

“For kid to score 3,000 points, she’s in her sixth year, it’s fantastic,” West Carter coach Faith Conn said. “Sometimes, she makes it look so easy. She can drop 27 points and it feels like 12. She’s just a fantastic scorer.”

Stone had plenty of scoring help from her teammates in the All “A” final. The guard ignited a long run with her team’s first seven points of the third quarter after the Lions cut the lead to 28-27 at halftime.

Beth Middleton and Lexi Boyd supplied key buckets during a 20-5 run to vault the Comets to 52-37 advantage heading into the final frame.

“It’s been a big part of the whole season in general,” Middleton said of winning another region All “A” title. “We have been preparing for this game for a few days now. As a senior, it’s great to cap off the career with a region win.”

West Carter extended the defensive pressure after halftime, and it paid off on the other end. Middleton’s swipe and score highlighted a string of nine straight points to force a Lions timeout.

“I wasn’t very confident in my shot,” Middleton said. “But this year, I have gained confidence in my offense and my defense. Late in the game, my teammates have depended on me more.”

Middleton finished with 15 points and Boyd tallied 17.

Stone added a three-point play later in the third stanza but didn’t have to produce another point down the stretch. Bond collected six points in the final quarter. Hanna and Millie Henderson each added buckets to put the game away.

“It’s been a huge thing for us to see everybody grow,” Conn said. “It makes scoring so much easier. Someone else can hit those big shots. It takes the pressure off, and that helps to hit those shots. We can get open looks instead of Allie trying to get to the rim with two people on her.”

Stone called it a total team effort, especially with the execution in the final two quarters.

“We are just making the right plays,” Stone said. “They are double-teaming me, and my team is getting layups. That is how we win. We found the open man, made the right play and we will win a lot of games like that.”

“Teams make runs on us, and we try to stay calm,” Stone continued. “We wanted to come out (in the second half) and try to make a run on them. We did a good job of doing that in the third quarter. We can get down on ourselves and let them take over. We did a good job of handling that tonight.”

Elliott County (6-4) quickly erased a 11-point deficit in the second stanza. Jasmine Ison and Kiley Whitt both splashed 3s during a scoring surge and Molly Howard ended the frame with a layup to pull the Lions within one at intermission.

“The last three or four minutes of the second quarter we really attacked their press and got shots off of it,” Elliott County coach Roy Whitt said. “We came out in the third and weren’t doing the same things as we were in the second quarter. Defensive rebounding was the key to the game. We have to be tougher on the backboards.”

Katie Adkins posted a team-high 13 points. Howard followed with 12 points and Ison added nine.

West Carter (12-4) advances to the All “A” state tournament at Eastern Kentucky. The Comets face Knott County Central on Jan. 26 at 8 p.m.

“It’s super exciting,” Conn said. “Some of these girls have seen their teammates play on that court. They want to do that. Last year, we didn’t get to play at EKU. This one might be even sweeter than last year. They are all sweet, but the fact that we get to compete in another one is awesome.”

The two teams meet again tonight in Olive Hill in a district seeding game. Whitt said his team will be ready to compete once again.

“Faith has done a tremendous job, but we didn’t come out here for second place,” Whitt said. “We expected to win tonight. We know what we can do.”

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msparks@dailyindependent.com

ELLIOTT CO.    FG    FT    REB    TP

Howard    4-5    3-4    3    12

Whitt    2-9    2-2    3    7

Ison    4-7    0-0    1    9

Sturgill    1-2    3-4    2    5

Adkins    3-11    4-6    1    13

Hamilton    2-5    0-2    5    4    

Team            2

TOTAL    16-39    12-18    17    50

FG Pct: 41.0. Ft Pct: 66.7. 3-Pt FGs: 6-17 (Howard 1-2, Whitt 1-6, Ison 1-1, Hamilton 0-2, Adams 3-6) PF: 12. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 9.

W. CARTER    FG    FT    REB    TP

Middleton    6-8    2-2    3    15

Stone    7-10    3-3    5    19

Bond    5-8    7-10    5    17

M. Henderson    2-2    0-0    3    5

H. Henderson    3-4    0-2    4    6

Burton    0-4    0-0    1    0

Kinney    0-0    0-0    0    0

Team            3

TOTAL    23-36    12-17    24    62

FG Pct: 63.9. FT Pct: 70.6. 3-Pt FGs: 4-11 (Burton 0-4, Middleton 1-2, Stone 2-4, M. Henderson 1-1 PF: 16. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 9.

ELLIOTT CO.    11    16    10    13    —    50

W. CARTER    19    9    24    10    —    62

Officials: Dave Wheeler, Justin Royster and Blake Gavin.

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