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By Josh Peterson
After running into tough luck and dropping a trio of close decision to open the season, the Coffee County Red Raider basketball team finally moved into the win column last Tuesday.
Coffee County picked up double-digit offensive efforts from four players – including 18 from junior Lucas Crismond – on the way to a 64-40 win over Grundy County at Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gymnasium.
“We had a balanced attack,” said CHS head coach Scott Givens. “If we can get four guys in double figures we will win the majority of our games. If we can get three in double-figures we will be right there.”
Lance Crismond joined Lucas Crismond in double-figures with 14 points. Addison Carter added 11 and Anthony Jackson 10.
Grundy County was never within striking distance in the fourth quarter.
“I think our kids were hungry to get that first win,” added Givens. “We were just so close in a couple of games earlier. Being at home and coming up on the short end they really wanted it. Defensively we could have played a little better, though.”
Coffee County (1-3 overall / 0-0 District 6-AAA) opened with three straight losses – including single-digit losses to Cannon County and Page. The Raiders had a shot at the win against Page but a 3-pointer fell off the bad side of the rim.
“I’d rather be 3-1 or 4-0, obviously,” explained Givens, “but I knew without Brock [Ivey-Bodman] it would be tough.”
The good news for Givens is Ivey-Bodman practiced Friday, Saturday and Monday and was expected to return to the floor Tuesday when the Raiders hosted Shelbyville. Results were not available at press time.
“I feel lucky he only missed four games,” said Givens, who admitted the time missed allowed Lake Elam and Payton Talley opportunities to pick up minutes.
“I’m confident in Lake and Payton,” said Givens. “Brock will take some of those minutes because he does have the great ability to shoot and he is more experienced. But because those guys got some minutes they really proved reliable.”
After hosting Shelbyville, the Raiders hit a tough stretch of games with four straight coming on the road – at Lincoln County, Franklin County, Smyrna and Tullahoma.
“The kids should be used to it by now,” said Givens, pointing out the Raiders opened with their first three on the road. “Playing at home is a big difference;it’s where you practice and the balls are the same ones you use when you practice. But if they aren’t used to it they better get used to it quick. I’d like to have a winning record over these next five.”