Demarco Moore, Sports Writer
With the regular season now complete, the Coffee County Central High School girls and boys basketball teams turn their attention to the upcoming District 8-AAA tournament, hosted by Franklin County High School in Winchester.
The Lady Raiders (19-6; 8-4 District 8-AAA) locked up the no. 3 seed in the tournament and will face sixth-seeded Tullahoma at 4 p.m. on Friday in Winchester. The Lady Wildcats rolled over Columbia 73-39 on Tuesday in the district play-in game.
The Lady Raiders are currently riding a five-game winning streak, which is giving them the momentum needed to make a serious run at the district championship.
“At this point in the season you’re hoping that everybody is stepping up their game, and obviously that’s starting to happen for us,” said Lady Raiders head coach Herb Horton.
The winning streak is also creating much-needed confidence amongst the players.
“I think we’re really confident, especially with our shot,” said senior Holli Smithson after Coffee County blasted Tullahoma 57-36 on Friday, Feb. 10 in Manchester.
“I think we’re going to go strong in the tournament.”
Red Raiders earn fifth seed in tournament
The Red Raiders (21-7; 7-5) have already accomplished a lot this season, winning the most games by a boy’s team since 1977.
They will enter Friday’s district tournament as the no. 5 seed against fourth-seeded with tip-off scheduled for 8:30 p.m.
Both teams finished 7-5 in district play and split their regular season games, but the Falcons owned the tie-breaker over the Red Raiders.
Coffee County is ready to play the way it did before a three-game losing streak ruined chances at the top seed.
“We gotta’ pick up where we left off about three weeks ago and start hitting on all cylinders and we got it,” said senior Grant Sadler after a win over Tullahoma Feb. 10.
But that also involves winding down after a 28-game season.
“Obviously we want them to be focused on the tournament,” added CHS coach Micah Williams.
“It’s a long season. We want to make sure our guys are still together and still developing that team chemistry.”
After winning two straight games to end the regular season, the Red Raiders look to be gelling at the right time.
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Reach Demarco Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter @iam__demo