Hayden Garr

Hayden Garr's last-second shot secured a victory for Coffee Middle after a back-and-forth battle. 

When Coffee County Middle boys' basketball took on Cannon County on December 17, the team's offense fell apart late in the loss. The Red Raiders got their revenge Monday night, surviving a back-and-forth game 45-43. 

“You don’t want them to be that close but I was proud of the guys for staying poised,” Coach Jonathan Oliver said. “I was proud of our effort, we didn’t quit.”

Monday's match saw 11 different lead changes between the second quarter and the fourth. It was a fight from beginning to end and Hayden Gar's game-winning shot at the buzzer saved CMS from overtime. 

CMS took an early 7-3 lead before the Lion offense began to start hitting shots. The Raiders held on through the end of the first quarter, staying ahead 13-11.

A back-and-forth second quarter followed with multiple lead changes. Over the span of the final two minutes, Dayne Crosslin, Jacob Holder and Garr all hit buckets to briefly put the Raiders ahead.

At the same time, foul trouble became an issue for CMS as the first half began to wind down. Cannon County went to the line eight times, helping the Lions break off for a 27-22 lead at the half.

The game stayed neck-and-neck in the third quarter, with neither team able to break away from the other. After Dayne Crosslin knocked in a basket to put the Raiders ahead, Cannon County responded with one of their own to tie at 36 apiece to start the final quarter.

CMS was able to put some distance between itself and the Lions in the fourth, ahead 41-36 with under three minutes to play. After Cannon County free throws helped tie the game at 43 with 11 seconds left, Hayden Garr grabbed a rebound and hit one off at the buzzer, securing the win.

“Shoot the ball, that’s all that was going through my head, just shoot it,” Garr said afterward. “We came through adversity and won the game.”

Holder led the Raiders with 15 points on the night. He was followed by Crosslin's 12. Garr finished the game with eight points, with Jack Anderson right behind at six. Ethan Hargrove finished the game with four points.

Staff Writer

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