High School Basketball

Gateway Holiday Classic: Lafayette stifles East Carter 59-46 for girls' title

MOUNT STERLING — Defense was the difference Monday in Lafayette's 59-46 victory over East Carter.

Dee Givens scored 20 points and Kiara Pankins added 18 as the Lady Generals won the finals of the girls' portion of the Gateway Holiday Classic at Montgomery County.

Givens, a 6-foot senior, had 12 points as Lafayette raced to a 34-16 halftime lead, shooting 57.7 perecent from the field.

The Generals were deadly in transition, outscoring the Lady Raiders 20-6 off turnovers and 24-4 in the paint for the half.

"Each game we're getting a little better," Lafayette Coach Allison Denton said. "Our defense is becoming very consistent. Our offense is not yet. We have a lot of people trying to wait for somebody else to do something. So we need to get a lot of our points off of our defense, which is what's helping us."

The Generals scored the first nine points of the game, adding a pair of eight-point runs before the intermission.

"Coach, before the game started, she said that they like to run out, fast-break a lot," Givens said. "So we just wanted to get back and play defense, and not let them score. If they score, they'll set up in their press, and ... we're not A-plus on that. We just wanted to get easy buckets."

East Carter used a 13-0 blitz in the third quarter and was within 40-33 through three quarters.

"(We) started fighting. Started playing with energy. Started guarding a little bit," Coach Hager Easterling said of East Carter's third-quarter charge. "You can't play half a game against a good team, and Lafayette's obviously a good team. The first half we just let them do whatever they wanted to — they dribbled where they wanted to, they cut where they wanted to, they posted where they wanted to. We didn't fight off screens. We just let people catch the ball where they wanted to. We didn't do anything. The first half was probably our worst half of the year."

Megan Stickler's basket to open the fourth-quarter scoring made it a five-point game.

That's as close as it got though, as Lafayette switched from a 2-3 zone defense to a 1-2-2.

"I think they cut it within five, and we knew they'd turn up the pressure because they were behind," Denton said. "... And we knew that if we weren't going to score, then we needed to switch something on our defense, so we did that."

The Generals scored the next seven points and later had an 8-0 run to pull away.

Lafayette sealed the game at the foul line, going 20-for-22.

Lafayette won minus 6-4 senior Ashanti Thomas, out with a hyperextended knee.

Pankins said a December tournament title is just what she wants for now.

"It means a lot because we've been struggling a lot this season and we know we're better than what we've been performing," she said.

Givens and Pankins each grabbed five rebounds, helping Lafayette to a 24-15 advantage on the boards. Givens also had five of her team's eight assists.

Stickler and Haley Hall led East Carter with 12 points each, Stickler adding five rebounds.

Clark Co. 61, Montgomery Co. 44: Elizabeth Hardiman bagged 19 points and 12 rebounds as the Cardinals cruised to take third place. Sydney Anderson added 12 points for the winners.

Clay Co. 45, Lincoln Co. 42: Ajaycia Cotton scored 16 points and Kelli Roberts added 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead Clay County in the fifth-place game.

Paul Laurence Dunbar 56, Bath Co. 53 (OT): Mashayla Cecil scored four of her 14 points in overtime and Dunbar overcame a three-point first quarter to place seventh.

Ezzy Ighodaro led the Bulldogs with 20 points.

Lafayette 59, East Carter 46

LAFAYETTE (8-4) — Givens 20, L. Winn 2, A. Conwell 6, Pankins 18, Powell 9, Bennett 4. Totals 19-37 20-22 59.

EAST CARTER (9-4) — Mayo 8, Hall 12, Stickler 12, Pennington 3, Limings 2, Brainard 4, Damron 5. Totals 18-39 7-8 46.

Lafayette 16 18 6 19—59

East Carter 9 7 17 13—46

Clark County 61, Montgomery co. 44

CLARK CO. (7-5) — K. Williams 6, Taylor 6, Sy. Anderson 12, Skinner 7, Hardiman 19, Welsh 5, Bell 6. Totals 26-43 5-11 61.

MONTGOMERY CO. (3-8) — Arnett 11, Igo 6, Terrell 2, Barker 0, Spence 4, Bromagen 10, Jones 9, Pence 2. Totals 15-50 12-16 44.

Clark County 14 16 17 14—61

Montgomery County 4 13 9 18—44

Clay County 45, lincoln county 42

LINCOLN CO. (6-5) — Honaker 2, Hall 8, Sims 5, Hocker 12, Holton 3, E. King 6, J. King 4, Wilks 2. Totals 14-49 10-18 42.

CLAY CO. (10-3) — Roberts 13, Cotton 16, Mathis 4, Woods 8, Jackson 0, Parker 4. Totals 13-33 18-30 45.

Lincoln County 4 7 7 24—42

Clay County 11 10 8 16—45

Dunbar 56, Bath County 53 (OT)

BATH CO. (3-6) — Porter 1, Rogers 12, Howard 14, Price 13, J. Flowers 7, Walters 2, Jamison 4. Totals 19-53 11-20 53.

DUNBAR (11-3) — Herriford 8, Cecil 14, Ighodaro 20, Armstrong 4, Joseph 5, Rosen 2, Humphreys 3. Totals 17-51 17-28 56.

Bath County 14 8 15 10 6—53

Dunbar 3 21 14 9 9—56