Ellie Graham

Ellie Graham was electric from beyond the three-point arc Tuesday night, hitting four to finish with 12 points. 

The last time Central High School took on Columbia on Dec. 7, the Lady Raiders won by 66 points.

Little changed Tuesday night at the Patch. The Lady Raiders dominated from start to finish in a 77-28 district victory. 

"I thought we took care of the basketball really well," Coach Joe Pat Cope said. "Through three periods of basketball we had two turnovers. That's unheard of in District AAA."

Turnovers only started to become in an issue in the fourth quarter when the team's reserve players entered the game. In Cope's estimation, the girls committed three or four turnovers at half court during the quarter. At the same time, the reserves contributed on offense, with 10 of 13 players hitting at least one bucket. 

"We've got to get better, they need to get more seasoned," Cope said. Next year they're going to be playing. We've got big shoes to fill, losing Abby Morgan and Jacey Vaughn."

Other than fourth quarter turnover issues, it was a very complete game for the Lady Raiders.

Jacey Vaughn kicked it off with a three-pointer for the game's first points, spurring an 8-0 CHS run. The Lady Raiders continued to push ahead after Columbia hit its first points, adding another 19 unanswered. Abby Morgan hit one last shot at the buzzer to give CHS a 31-4 lead at the close of the first quarter. The girls finished the quarter with seven three-pointers, including three from Ellie Graham. 

After heading into halftime up 46-11, the Lady Raiders held the Lady Lions to a single field goal in the third quarter, taking a 67-13 lead into the fourth.

In the final minutes, the CHS offensive attack slowed and Columbia began to hit more shots. The Lady Raiders' lead was too large to overcome and CHS added another blowout win to its 2018-19 resume. 

"I was really excited, I felt like everybody contributed in this game," Graham said. "It's really exciting to get everyone in." 

Morgan led the way for the Lady Raiders with 13 points. Graham came in right behind with 12 points, all coming from beyond the three-point line. Vaughn and Bella Vinson followed with 11 each. Ashley Starks finished with seven points. Chloe Spry, Emma Fulks and Kiya Ferrell all had six. Morgan Jones had three points, just ahead of Keelie Hillis's two.