GRAYSON Boyd County had East Carter in a standing eight count before the Lady Raiders ever got a chance to react Saturday afternoon.
Back-to-back triples from Laney Whitmore and Hannah Roberts staked the Lady Lions a 6-0 lead to open the affair and Whitmore’s second trifecta pushed the visitors in front by 10. But East Carter's 7-0 run started by a Jascie Greene putback had the Lady Raiders within three with five minutes to go in the first quarter.
Then a 13-0 run to close the final 2:30 of the quarter surged Boyd County to a 27-11 lead. A mixture of suffocating defensive pressure on East Carter and converting turnovers into points provided Boyd County a 68-27 running-clock win.
“We jumped out there quick and made a few buckets early, then it was like, oh, this is going to be easy,” Boyd County coach Pete Fraley said. “We just started to relax and go for steals and that’s why I called the timeout. I told them, play straight up and stop cheating. Stop doing all this other stuff and it will work. We just went back to what we needed to do. When we play defense like that and get hands on balls, we’re pretty good.”
East Carter scored the first points of the second stanza but managed only one made field goal in that quarter. Meanwhile, Boyd County’s defensive pressure resulted in 30 Lady Raiders turnovers, 20 in the first half.
“Everybody was so active,” Fraley said. “Laney had hands on balls. Bailey Rucker had hands on balls. Harley (Paynter) … we just got a lot of hands on balls and you can do those kinds of things when you have Audrey and Hannah in the back end. You can cheat and funnel everything to them because they are hard to shoot over back there.”
East Carter coach Jeff Damron identified the ability Boyd County possesses in its full-court pressure and knew his players had yet to see it this season.
“It was exactly what I expected and the result, to some extent, was exactly what I expected,” Damron said. “They hit us early and we took it in the mouth and for about a three- to four-minute span, we handled the pressure. Now is it a conditioning thing or just things we have not worked on?
"Not taking anything away from Boyd, they’ve got a really nice team. But I’ve got to worry about my kids and get them into situations to be successful and that’s the process we are going to be in.”
Case made by a 25 second span in the second quarter that featured four Lady Raiders turnovers and six consecutive points from Audrey Biggs.
“She was calling and saying get me the ball,” Fraley said of Biggs with a smile. “There’s certain plays we run for Audrey and she knows those. She’s just so athletic out there and she creates mismatches for other teams. You really can’t put a big on her but if you don’t put somebody with some size on her, she’s quick enough to go around you. She’s a joy to coach and she’s just a freshman. That’s crazy.”
Biggs finished with 15 points, all coming in the first half. Paynter led Boyd County with 16 points and seven rebounds, five offensive. Boyd County tallied 19 offensive boards compared to East Carter’s 20 total rebounds in the game.
“Our kids are just active and just want to play,” Fraley said. “We just take every day and say hey, it could be taken away tomorrow. So, we enjoy and embrace every moment we have on the floor.”
East Carter hit 8 of 24 attempts and was 1 of 10 from long range.
“It’s a progression that I’m trying to get them to understand,” Damron said. “I don’t want to get beat. I hate getting beat. But, learn from it and let’s go to the next game because it’s a loss and I want them to win, but in the end, what does it really matter overall in the region? It really doesn’t mean anything. Especially this season where you take all the opportunities you can get to play and get better.”
Halle Swanagan and Jaelyn Steele led the Lady Raiders with five points each.
FG Pct.: 38.9. FT Pct.: 70.0. 3-pointers: 6-20 (Roberts 1-4, Whitmore 2-2, Rucker 1-5, Paynter 0-2, Caldwell 1-3, Neese 1-2, Biggs 1-4). PF: 13. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 10.
FG Pct: 23.5. FT Pct.: 83.3. 3-pointers: 1-10 (Moore 0-2, M. Waggoner 0-3, Stickler 0-3, Swanagan 1-2). PF: 19. Fouled out:None. Turnovers: 30.
BOYD CO.27211110— 69
E. CARTER11 6 5 5— 27
Officials: Davey Fields, Mike Ginn, Madison Jones.