Demarco Moore, Sports Writer
MCMINNVILLE, Tenn. — Warren County found the formula needed to end the Lady Raider basketball team’s undefeated season on Tuesday night.
The Lady Pioneers took away Coffee County’s inside game, forced the Lady Raiders to play from behind, and held on for a 62-54 win at home.
Warren County packs the inside
From the first quarter it was apparent that Warren County was content with allowing Coffee County to shoot from the outside. The Lady Raiders took what the defense gave them, and finished 2-for-11 from the field as well as 1-of-4 from the free-throw line, while the Lady Pioneers took a 13-6 lead.
The Lady Raiders (7-0 overall; 1-0 District 8-AAA) would find the free-throw line just two more times for the game, finishing 3-of-6 while going 9-of-30 from 3-point range and 12-of-29 on 2-pointers.
Tyra Wright comes alive in the post
Warren County’s Tyra Wright presence in the post was a big reason why the Lady Pioneers were so successful at not only disrupting Coffee County’s shot selections, but also breaking the Lady Raiders’ press defense.
Wright scored 10 of her team-high 15 points in the first half, while teammate Callie Cathcart totaled nine of her 15 points in the half as well. For the game, Warren County made six 3-pointers.
Jacey Vaughn’s 3-pointer in the second quarter gave the Lady Raiders their only lead of the first half at 22-20. A 3-pointer to open the second half helped the Lady Raiders take a 27-25 lead, but Warren County pulled away and led by as many as 12 points in the fourth quarter.
Bella Vinson led Coffee County with 14 points.
Warren County 67, Red Raiders 63
The Coffee County Central High School boys’ basketball team outscored Warren County 53-40 in the final three quarters on Tuesday.
However, the first quarter specifically cost the Red Raiders in their first loss of the season, as Warren County picked up a 67-63 win.
Junior Darius Rozier knocked down a 3-pointer for the game’s first score. But Warren County would follow up with an 18-0 run, as Isaiah Grayson scored eight of the Pioneers’ first 10 points.
The Red Raiders (6-1 overall; 1-0 District 8-AAA) faced an uphill battle down 27-10 at the end of the first quarter, but cut into Warren County’s lead as the game moved along, and would finally pull the game even at 59-59 with 2:20 left in the fourth quarter , when Grey Riddle hit a cutting Rozier on the baseline for a game-tying layup.
Grayson’s 3-pointer lifted Warren County for good with 1:45 left, although a Garrett Booth steal and quick layup pulled the Red Raiders to within two points with 12 seconds left.
The Red Raiders struggled at the free-throw line, finishing 4-of-13 in a game that ended up coming down to a few possessions.
Rozier led Coffee County with 22 points, his fourth 20-point game of the season.
Grayson and Irving Espinoza both scored 15 points to lead the Pioneers, who drained seven 3-pointers on the night.
(Figures after player’s last name denote field goals made and attempted, free throws made and attempted and total points.)
Lady Raiders (54)
Bella Vinson 4-7 0-0 14, Ashley Starks 1-2 0-0 11, Abby Morgan 3-8 1-1 10, Alliyah Williams 3-7 1-1 7, Jacey Vaughn 0-0 0-0 6, Ellie Graham 1-2 0-0 5, Jenna Garretson 0-3 1-4 1
Team totals: 12-29 (Field goals), 3-6 (Free throws)
3-point goals: 9-30 (Ashley Starks 3-7, Jacey Vaughn 2-5, Bella Vinson 2-6, Ellie Graham 1-3, Abby Morgan 1-8, Alliyah Williams 0-1)
Red Raiders (63)
Darius Rozier 6-9 1-2 22, Garrett Booth 5-9 0-0 16, Grey Riddle 4-7 0-2 8, Harley Hinshaw 3-7 1-5 7, Andrew Mahaffey 3-5 0-0 6, A.J. Rollman 1-2 0-0 2, Chase Simpkins 0-0 1-2 1, Russell Smythia 0-1 1-2 1
Team totals: 22-40 (Field goals), 4-13 (Free throws)
3-point goals: 5-11 (Darius Rozier 3-8, Garrett Booth 2-2, Grey Riddle 0-1)
Reach Demarco Moore at email@example.com, and follow him on Twitter @iam__demo