GRAYSON It took nearly five minutes for either team to record a point on Tuesday night.
It would a recurring theme for East Carter and Greenup County the remainder of the first half at the Harold L. Holbrook Complex East.
The Raiders offensive production greatly improved out of the locker room. After scoring 16 points in the opening 12 minutes, East Carter started the third quarter with a 16-1 run. The Musketeers pulled within six by the end of the frame, but the Raiders eventually pulled away for the 57-44 victory.
Greenup County was playing in their fourth game of the young season. The Raiders were making their season debut. It took the Raiders some time to shake the rust off.
The Musketeers produced a quick 8-0 spurt in the second quarter to grab a 19-12 advantage. East Carter answered with a pair of buckets to reduce the halftime deficit to three.
“It was obvious in the first quarter,” East Carter coach Brandon Baker said. “Even into the first half, we were very tense. We looked nervous. We had some plays available, but our nerves got us, and we couldn’t complete those plays. We finally settled down a little bit.”
“We didn’t play at the pace we needed to finish plays,” he added. “We mishandled the ball, and we couldn’t pick up loose balls and pitch it up the floor. It finally wore off. It always makes a difference when you can get an easy basket. We have some experience, but we are also young in other spots.”
Baker moved Ethan Miller to the high post to take advantage of his length and decision-making in the second half. The 16th Region's all-time scoring leader on the pitch tallied several goals—field goals on Tuesday—during the spurt and dished out a pair of assists to his teammates.
It energized the team on both ends of the floor and pushed the margin to double digits.
“We started emphasized who we wanted to touch the ball (in the second half),” Baker said, “and where we wanted them to touch it. It was about getting their minds into game where game stress doesn’t let them forget what we are trying to do. … We weren’t ready to handle that game stress but once we got Ethan in there and he could read plays, he had some nice drop offs to Trevor (Cline) and got him some buckets.”
Greenup County (1-3) encountered another scoring drought in the third frame. Once again, the Musketeers didn't see their first bucket of the second half until 3:21 remaining in the quarter when Carson Wireman hit from long range.
Greenup County shot 27.8% from the field.
“We were up 19-14 with 20 seconds to go (in the first half) and we took a quick shot,” Greenup County coach Steve Barker said. “East Carter hit a layup to go in at halftime with a little momentum. At the start of the second half, they went on that run and we just couldn’t make a shot. Those are the bumps in the road you have when you are young.”
Boone Gibson closed out the third stanza with another triple to close the gap to 32-26. Greenup County couldn’t get any closer.
“There is no give up in these guys,” Barker said. “I’ve said since Day 1 that they are a close-knit group, and they play hard. We did cut it to six and made it a ball game. I think we got gassed a little bit. We are thin on our bench. It is a process, and we will work through it.”
Evan Goodman swished a 3 as East Carter collected eight straight points in the final period. Miller added a steal and score. Connor Goodman stuck back a miss with a reverse layup.
Miller led the Raiders in scoring with 15 points to go along with his nine rebounds. He added a final exclamation point with a one-handed slam late in the contest.
East Carter (1-0) had three players in double figures. Treven Tussey recorded 14 points and Connor Goodman suppled 13. Goodman connected on six of his seven free throw attempts in the fourth quarter. Cline netted eight points and 14 rebounds.
Baker complimented Cline on his toughness in the paint against Greenup County’s Trenton Hannah.
“Trevor is a big kid and Hannah is a big, too,” Baker said. “They were offsetting each other early. They both competed really hard against each other. … I was really pleased with Trevor Cline tonight.”
“Treven Tussey and Ethan Miller got better as the game went on,” he added. “Our freshman did some good stuff for us. We just have to get settled into our roles within the team. We can figure how each guy is going to play and how we can play off each other.”
Gibson led all scorers with 20 points for Greenup County. Carson Sammons added eight points for the Musketeers.
GREENUP CO. FG FT REB TP
Sammons 3-7 1-2 5 8
B. Gibson 6-18 4-4 5 20
Wireman 1-11 2-2 0 5
Hewlett 1-4 0-1 8 2
Hannah 2-7 1-3 5 5
Howard 0-1 0-0 0 0
Adkins 0-2 0-0 2 0
J. Gibson 2-4 0-0 5 4
TOTALS 15-54 8-12 33 44
FG Pct: 27.8. FT Pct. 66.7. 3-point FGs: 6-21 (Sammons 1-1, B. Gibson 4-8, Wireman 1-10, Howard 0-1, J. Gibson 0-1) PF: 16. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 15.
E. CARTER FG FT REB TP
C. Goodman 3-7 6-7 2 13
Hall 1-2 0-0 4 2
Cline 3-7 2-2 14 8
Tussey 6-17 2-2 4 14
Miller 6-10 3-7 9 15
E. Goodman 2-9 0-0 0 5
Tiller 0-0 0-0 0 0
Gee 0-0 0-0 2 0
Sargent 0-0 0-0 0 0
Adams 0-0 0-0 0 0
TOTALS 21-52 13-18 40 57
FG Pct: 40.4. FT Pct: 72.2. 3-point FGs: 2-18 (C. Goodman 1-4, Cline 0-1, Tussey 0-4, Miller 0-2, E. Goodman 1-7) PF: 13. Fouled out: None. Turnovers: 13.
GREENUP CO. 7 12 7 18 — 44
E. CARTER 7 9 16 25 — 57
Officials—Dave Anderson, Brian Keltner, Henry Bacon