Darren Doyle, story: Madison Doyle, photos:
A six-game winning streak from the West Carter Lady Comets was stopped by the Edmonson County Lady Cats in round two of the All A State Classic today in a game that went down to the final seconds at Eastern Kentucky University.
Led by senior Peyton Martin, who finished with 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists, Edmonson County pulled off the 63-59 win, as the Lady Cats found a way to slow down West Carter's three-point arsenal while battling Lady Comet pressure.
"We had a pretty good gameplan going in," said Coach Kevin Jackson. "We pushed the ball a little more than we did the last few games. I thought we got more transition baskets, got some good looks, got to the free throw line. We came out on their three-point shooters to shut down their threes. I thought our kids did everything we asked them to."
West Carter started off with three, 3-pointers that put them up early. Jackson was forced to call a first quarter timeout to regroup. The Lady Cats responded by allowing only four more threes for the entire game. The Lady Comets' full court pressure was broken by Edmonson County time and again, which allowed some easy Lady Cat buckets.
Edmonson had gained a 36-24 lead at the half and held a 46-39 lead going into the final quarter.
West Carter turned up the defensive pressure and forced some Lady Cat turnovers in the fourth. The Lady Comets were able to turn them into scoring opportunities, which included two, 3-point plays. The Lady Comets tied the score for the first time since the first quarter on 8th grader Allie Stone's bucket at 57 with 40.8 seconds to go. A Lady Cat turnover allowed West Carter to get the ball back and a chance for the lead.
Immediately after the West Carter inbound pass, Martin stole the ball, dribbled the length of the court, made the basket and drew the foul. She completed the three-point play to put the Lady Cats up 60-57. The Lady Comets drew the foul on their next possession and made two free throws to narrow EC's lead to 60-59 with 19.1 seconds remaining.
Caitlin Simon was immediately fouled on the inbound pass and knocked down two free throws to extend Edmonson's lead back to 62-59. West Carter missed a three pointer on their next possession and the ball was rebounded by Peyton Martin who was immediately fouled. She hit one of two free throws and time expired as West Carter put up a long three for a final score of 63-59.
Martin led the Lady Cats in scoring for the third straight night as the Lady Comets became the third team in a row to double team Simon the entire game. They held her to 14 points--10 under her average--but Martin was quick to credit her teammates for the victory.
"Yes, they are shutting her down, but other girls are stepping up, and I guess that's one of my roles right now for the team," she said.
Simon is only averaging around 12 points per game over the last three contests, half of her season's average, but still contributing on all other aspects of the game. She also finished today's game with 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal. She nailed two crucial foul shots in the final seconds.
Not only scoring, but dishing out assists and rebounding are also being done by Martin.
"It's not all me," she said. "Our post players are blocking out the bigger ones and that's opened me up to get the ball."
In addition to Martin and Simon, who never came out of the game, two other Lady Cats finished in double figures. Chanley Logsdon and Katlin Collins each had 10 points. Emma Rose Vincent scored 7, Madison Harrison had 2, and Lauren Ballance scored 1.
Edmonson County shot 50% from three point range and 48% for the game. They hit 19 of 23 free throws for 83%.
They improve to 19-3 on the season and will take on Murray High School Saturday at 12:30 CST. The Edmonson Voice will carry the game on both video and audio streams. You can watch the video of today's game by visiting the WildcatsLive page on EdmonsonVoice.com.