RICHMOND — The Paintsville Lady Tigers’ made the trip up to the campus of Eastern Kentucky University Wednesday night to take on the Lady Comets of West Carter in their first round matchup of Kentucky’s All “A” Classic at McBrayer Arena.
Paintsville played West Carter extremely tough in the first half, but went cold in the second half. The Lady Tigers fell 58-39.
West Carter wasted little time jumping out to an early lead. Back-to-back three pointers Kallie Burchett and Allie Stone to open the game put the Comets up 6-0 with 6:44 to play in the opening quarter.
Paintsville got on the board at the 5:36 mark as Elizabeth Williams was fouled on a drive to the basket. She managed to score the bucket, but she missed the free throw cutting the lead to 6-2. West Carter saw its lead grow to as much as 12-2 after a Burchett jumper with just under four minutes to play in the first.
The Lady Tigers’ Anna Keeton took over the rest of the quarter from there. Her bucket with 3:27 to play would be two of her 11 points in the first period. She pulled Paintsville back to within four points, as West Carter held a 17-13 lead after the first period of play.
Williams closed the gap even tighter to open the second. Her drive with 7:32 to play pulled Paintsville to within two. The Lady Tigers were applying the pressure at this point. Freshman Clara Blair hit a big three pointer at the 6:38 mark, followed by another three by Williams tying the game at 21-21 with 5:39 to play before the break, prompting a timeout by West Carter.
West Carter’s Stone scored seven unanswered coming out the timeout, however, Paintsville led by one 29-28 with under a minute to go before heading to the locker room. The Tigers’ looked to be taking that momentum with them into the break, but Hannah Bear hit a three pointer as time expired to give the Lady Comets a 31-29 lead at the half.
West Carter outscored Paintsville 17-13 in the first quarter on six of ten shooting for 60 percent. Paintsville would come back to outscore the Comets in the second 16-14 going seven of twelve from the floor for 58.3 percent from the floor.
Paintsville’s shooting arms grew as cold as the weather outside of the arena in the second half. The only buckets scored in the third for the Lady Tigers came from freshman Blair as she hit back-to-back three pointers which cut the lead to within one at 36-35 with 5:52 left in the period. Hope Auxier had a chance to pick up two after she was fouled underneath, but couldn’t convert either free throw. West Carter held a 45-35 lead at the end of three periods of play. The Lady Comets outscored the Tigers’ 14-6 in the fourth quarter.
The fourth period proved worse for Paintsville than the third. West Carter outscored Paintsville 13-4 in the final period. Blair would score the Lady Tigers’ only two baskets of the final quarter. West Carter would get to the bonus then with 5:45 to play in the game. They slowly put the game out of reach as they went on for the 58-39 first round win.
West Carter was led in scoring by Allie Stone with 24 points, four rebounds and two assists. Morgan Berry chipped in 13 points, four rebounds and two assists. Hannah Bear added eight points, five rebounds and two assists.
Paintsville was led by Keeton with 13 points, three rebounds and two assists. Blair also chipped in 13 points, two rebounds and one steal. Williams added nine points, four assists and three steals. Paintsville will be in action Saturday Jan. 26 at the Lady Hawk One Day Showcase at Pike Central High School.