by Andrew Hatton
CVT Sports Writer
In their final game before the holidays, Estill played host to the East Carter Raiders. The Engineers were looking for their third straight win and would capture it in convincing fashion, topping the Raiders 62-54.
With the high school gym being renovated, the game was played at Estill County Middle School. The crowd was a bit subdued in the smaller gym, but the Engineer players didn’t seem to be affected in any way.
The Engineers took the early lead, led by Caleb Bonny and Andrew Doty, each scoring six in the first. Doty from the post and Bonny from seemingly everywhere sparked Estill from the opening tip.
Joe Benton and Trey Richardson each added a three-pointer to give Estill the 18-7 advantage following the game’s opening quarter.
Estill would cool off a bit in the second, but a steady dose of Bonny would maintain the Engineer lead. East Carter would make things scrappy as the game reached halftime, as both teams finished with 12 points in the second quarter.
Bonny scored 14 points in the first half, eight of which came from the charity stripe. As the third quarter would play out, the refs began to swallow their whistles and Estill did not shoot a single free throw in the quarter.
Careless passes from the Engineers would let East Carter back in the game and set the stage for what would be a high-scoring shootout in the fourth quarter.
The Raiders went at the Engineers in the fourth quarter, with two players combining for 21 points in the period. East Carter had finally got their offense going after being quiet for much of the game.
But every time the Raiders seemed to find the bottom of the net, the Engineers were there to one-up them.
Bonny would lead the Engineers with 7 points in the fourth quarter and 25 points total in the game. Kevin Richardson netted two huge shots from beyond the arc in the fourth to extend the Engineer advantage.
Hunter Osborne provided what seemed to be the dagger to the hearts of the Raiders. The Estill senior knocked down a big time three-pointer and then grabbed a steal on East Carter’s following possession before finishing it with a lay up.
Coach Bentley’s team ultimately proved to be too much for East Carter. The Raiders fought to draw things close, but never threatened the Engineers who maintained control from opening tip to final buzzer.
Estill returns home on Jan. 6, to play host to Garrard County. The Engineers will look to carry this momentum into 2017 and build on their fantastic play from the season’s opening month.