The Coffee County Middle School Lady Raiders lost to Warren County twice during the regular season, but they came out on top when it counted. Monday the Lady Raiders gained a dramatic 27-25 victory over the Lady Pioneers to advance to the semi-final round of the Central Tennessee Conference tournament.
At the end of the first period the game was tied at three, and Coffee County held a one-point lead at the half. A 15-point final period, however, propelled the Lady Raiders to victory.
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Both teams struggled for the lead in the final two minutes before the Lady Pioneers tied the score at 25 with 20 seconds to go. After a timeout, the Lady Raiders managed to get the ball down court under the basket to Al’Keiah Martin, who scored the winning goal with five seconds to go.
Yet despite clutch shooting in the final minutes, sinking goals was not the primary key to the win, according to CCMS coach Rece Chumley.
“We challenged the girls before the game to not let the girl they were guarding get rebounds,” Chumley said. “That’s the best I’ve seen them go about getting rebounds in a long time. I told them, ‘If we win the rebound war, we win the ballgame.’ And we won.”
The Coffee County girls meet top-ranked Harris Middle School in the tournament semifinals Thursday at 8 p.m. at Coffee County Middle School. Last week Harris defeated the Lady Raiders 51-17 in the regular season finale. “They’re a good team, and it’ll take another effort like tonight for us to win,” Chumley said.
The CCMS boys play their first tournament round at 6:30 p.m. Thursday against Harris.
For more information on Monday’s game, see this week’s print edition. For subscription information, including online access, click here.