By Josh Peterson
A win in the home opener for the newly-renovated Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gymnasium seemed like the perfect script last Tuesday.
Thanks to a good showing from a pair of seniors, Coffee County Central followed the script well.
Lady Raider seniors Alaina Lusk and Ginny Clayborne put together 14-point performances and the Lady Raiders cruised past the Grundy County Lady Yellow Jackets 53-36.
“I was very pleased with the effort and the results,” said fifth-year Lady Raider head coach David Muckle after admitting a letdown was possible after a tough loss to Cannon County the night before. “I knew Grundy County was young and so did the kids, so that concerned me a little bit. But we did a great job, especially going after the offensive glass.”
Muckle was pleased with Coffee County’s (2-2 overall / 0-0 District 6-AAA) ability to transition from defense to quick offensive buckets.
“Alaina did a good job running the floor and that led to some easy shot opportunities.”
Lusk scored 8 of her 14 in the second quarter and all 14 in the first three quarters. She spent the fourth quarter playing with foul trouble before eventually fouling out with three minutes to play. But the game was well out of reach by that point with e Lady Raiders leading 40-21 entering the final frame.
A strong fourth quarter from sophomore Sydney Pearson helped seal the deal – including a 3-pointer. She finished with nine points.
“Sydney has done very well for us,” explained Muckle. “The more she plays the more comfortable she gets. She is a hustler and plays good defense and what she did against Grundy is shot the ball. She hasn’t shot a lot but earn she does, she hits.”
The Lady Raiders led 29-20 at halftime before pulling away in the final two frames. Kristin Hill led Grundy County with 10 points – seven coming when the game was put away in the fourth quarter.
Coffee County hosted Shelbyville Tuesday before beginning a four game road stretch at Franklin County, Lincoln County, Smyrna and cross-county rival Tullahoma.
“Every one of those teams will be different kinds of challenges,” said Muckle. “Shelbyville is sour focus right now, though. Shelbyville will very tough.”