By Milton Stanley
The Coffee County Middle School boys defeated Warren County Monday night 32-29 while the Red Raider girls lost 28-16.
The boys pulled out to an early lead and stayed ahead most of the first half. Coffee County’s overall strategy, according to Coach Jonathan Oliver, was to force Warren County to shoot from outside. The strategy was evidently successful, as the Pioneers were unable to score effectively at longer range.
The teams were fairly evenly matched in the first half. At the end of the second period, however, Coffee County’s Grant Sadler sank a dramatic three-point shot at the buzzer to lift the Red Raiders to 13-9 at the half. “That’s a major momentum changer for us,” Oliver said.
See our photo gallery for more photos from Monday’s games.
Warren County came back powerfully to dominate the third period. In addition to applying intense pressure under the basket, the Pioneers adjusted effectively to Coffee County’s 1-3-1 while outscoring the Red Raiders 13-6 in the third.
In the fourth period, Coffee County adjusted as well by dropping the wings down to take away Warren County’s diagonal passes. The Red Raiders regained the lead with 3:10 remaining in the game, when Jaden Chumley’s three-pointer put the Red Raiders up for good. Chumley added a free-throw with 9.5 seconds remaining to lift the Red Raiders up by three.
Garrett Eldridge led Coffee County’s scoring with 15 points, including a three-pointer and four of five free throws. Sadler scored 11, Tyrese McGee two, and Chumley four.
Warren County 28, Lady Raiders 16
For the girls, Coffee County’s Bailey Morgan sank the first field goal of the game, but the Red Raiders soon lost the lead and never regained it.
By halftime the Lady Raiders were down 13-8, and in the third quarter Coffee County managed only two points to the Pioneers’ five.
In addition to being stymied from the field, the Coffee County girls scored only three of sixteen free-throws on the night.
The Lady Raiders managed to pull to within four points midway through the fourth period. By the end, however, Warren County was on top by 12.
Lady Raiders’ Coach Rece Chumley was disappointed with the team’s overall performance. “We didn’t do what we needed to do,” Chumley said. “We missed 13 free throws.”
Top scorers among Coffee County girls were Holli Smithson and Al’Keiah Martin, both with four points. Savannah Quick sank one three-point shot, and Bailey Morgan and Tyana Fenton both scored two points. Kaylee Skipper added one shot from the free-throw line.
Top scorer overall was Warren County’s Madison Mason with fifteen.
The lady Raiders now turn their attention to Thursday night’s game at home against West Tullahoma.
“We’ve got to keep working to put the ball in the basket,” said Chumley. “We’re not going to beat anybody scoring 16 points.”