Demarco Moore, Sports Writer
Franklin County 4 13 12 19 – 48
Lady Raiders 10 16 11 17 – 54
MANCHESTER, Tenn. — The Coffee County Central High School Lady Raider basketball team is trending up after defeating Franklin County 54-48 Friday night inside Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gym.
The Lady Raiders (17-6; 7-4) have now won three straight games while sweeping the Rebelettes in the season series.
Coffee County’s inside game came alive, as senior forward Aerial Williams and the Lady Raiders attacked the paint all night long.
“We really wanted to get [Mycah Jordan] in foul trouble and toward the end we kind of did,” said senior Bailey Morgan, who finished with 4 points and 4 assists.
“We also wanted to get the guards in foul trouble so we’d have an easier game.”
The strategy worked out especially well for senior forward Aerial Williams, who dominated the post with 17 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks for the Lady Raiders.
“[Aerial] really stepped it up tonight,” added Morgan.
“We really needed her, so that was good on her part.”
Coffee County led wire-to-wire, opening the game on an 8-0 run and never looking back. 33-29 in the third quarter was the closest Franklin County would get.
Rebels hand Red Raiders third consecutive district loss
Franklin County 10 14 19 12 – 55
Red Raiders 12 11 16 13 – 52
For a third-straight game the Coffee County Central boys basketball team found itself playing catch up late in a district game. And for the third-straight time, the Red Raiders fell short.
Franklin County outlasted Coffee County 55-52, pushing the Red Raiders’ (19-7; 6-5) losing streak to a season-worst three games.
The first half was a tight one, with the lead changing hands eight times before the Rebels went up 24-23 at halftime.
From then on it was all Franklin County, as the Rebels opened the third quarter with 10 straight points, stretching their lead to double-digits. Coffee County followed with an 8-0 run of their own, pulling to within 4-points entering the fourth quarter.
The Red Raiders spent the final 7:52 in the bonus, but didn’t take full advantage of the opportunity for extra points.
Trailing by 3 points with 39.7 seconds left, the Red Raiders had one final possession to tie the game. But Grant Sadler had his 3-pointer blocked by Franklin County’s Cody Lester. Sadler was able to get one more 3-pointer up, but it sailed left of the rim as time expired.
(Figures after player’s last name denote field goals made and attempted, free throws made and attempted and total points.)
Lady Raiders (54)
H. Smithson 1-6 5-7 7, Al. Williams 2-2 0-5 4, Aer. Williams 8-15 1-2 17, J. Vaughn 1-1 5-8 7, B. Morgan 1-4 4-6 6, A. Morgan 2-5 3-6 7, J. Garretson 2-2 2-2 6 Totals 17-35 20-35 54
3-Point Goals: 0-5
Red Raiders (52)
Eldridge 2-3 0-0 4, T. McGee 1-2 3-4 5, S. Sullivan 4-12 7-9 15, G. Booth 1-2 1-2 3, Dar. Rozier 2-2 1-3 5, De. Rozier 2-3 2-2 6, G. Sadler 4-8 0-0 14 Totals 16-32 14-20 52
3-Point Goals: 2-14 (G. Sadler 2-7, G. Riddle 0-1, Garrett Eldridge 0-2, Garrett Booth 0-2 Dar. Rozier 0-2)
NEXT GAME: Home vs. Grundy County on Tuesday, Feb. 7 (6 p.m., Boys tip immediately after girls)
Reach Demarco Moore at email@example.com, and follow him on Twitter @iam__demo