Jacob Holder

Jacob Holder goes up to the net during Monday night's game against West Tullahoma. Holder was a force for the Raiders, banking 18 points in the home win.

Coffee Middle boys' basketball began its season Monday night against West Tullahoma. Following a loss for the girls' team, the Red Raiders were able to even the series with a 31-24 win over the Bobcats. 

"I'm glad we won. It's always good to get that first one behind you," Coach Jonathan Oliver said. "I liked the way we played, I liked the way we competed, but I didn't like the way we ended the game." 

The boys played quick-paced and energetic throughout the whole game. Down the stretch this speed led to turnovers and missed shots that gave West Tullahoma opportunities to get back into the game.

"We specifically said in our final few timeouts and things to not get sped up, slow down and get something easy," Coach Oliver said. "but we continued to just shoot like the ball was on fire."

The Raiders were led offensively by Jacob Holder who sank 18 points, including four free throws.

"It felt good, I knew I could do it, just put a lot of work in this preseason. Now it's come here and I can just show it," Holder said.

Both teams got off to a slow start offensively. West Tullahoma led 6-2 after the first quarter with neither side putting much into the net. The Raiders' speed and intensity started to come alive in the second quarter, putting up 14 points and taking a 16-10 lead at the half. 

Coffee Middle continued to use its speed to its advantage through the third quarter but started to get sloppy in the fourth. The Raiders' speed caused turnovers and gave the Bobcats six points and free throw opportunities. Too much time had expired for West Tullahoma to climb back and Coffee Middle escaped with the season-opening win.

"We talked about the fact that we wanted to kind of play a little faster this year," Coach Oliver said. "we also said we have to play under control, and we didn't do both of those."

In addition to Holder's 18, Ethan Hargrove netted eight points for the Raiders. Cooper Reed had three points. Hayden Garr followed with two. 

Staff Writer

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