It was a night of celebration at Central High School's Joe Frank Patch Gymnasium. The Lady Raiders closed out their home schedule with a 65-41 win over rival Tullahoma, securing a perfect home record in the 2018-19 season and celebrating senior night on this high note.
"Complete game. We hadn't had one of those in a little bit," Coach Joe Pat Cope said. "We were out of our free throw slump, we played defense, Jenna Garretson man, what can you say about that kid?"
Garretson had one of her best games of the season Friday night, hitting 24 points for the Lady Raiders, including nine points from beyond the three-point line.
"That's exactly what it's gonna take to make the run we didn't make last year," Cope said. "We're gonna have to have one of our kids who's been averaging five or six to come in and pour in 15 or 20 and that's exactly what Jenna did tonight."
The Lady Cats opened the game with a three-pointer to take the game's first lead. It wouldn't last long, as Garretson and Bella Vinson both hit the next two baskets to put CHS up 4-3. Tullahoma kept it close, eventually pushing back in front 9-8 in the game's final minute. With 22 seconds left, Garretson drained a three-pointer and the Lady Raiders held on for an 11-9 lead after one.
CHS continued to push ahead in the second. A quick succession of baskets from Ellie Graham, Vinson and Abby Morgan expanded the Lady Raiders' lead to 18-9 in the quarter's first three minutes. By halftime the girls had just pushed into the double digits, taking a 24-13 lead.
Tullahoma came alive early in the second half, hitting nine straight to open the third quarter. With the lead tightened to 25-24, Garretson hit her second three-pointer to give the Lady Raiders some breathing room. Additional buckets from Graham, Garretson and Vinson helped the Lady Raiders increase the lead to 39-32 after three.
Ahead by five with just under six minutes to play, Garretson buried another three-pointer, followed by a shot from Jacey Vaughn to take a 46-36 lead. The Lady Raiders didn't let it fall below double digits again on the way to a 24-point victory.
"I thought we all played as a team and I thought all of our chemistry was so good tonight," Garretson said. "I think we all came together for the seniors and we all hustled our butts off for every single one of them."
Garretson's 24 points led the team offensively Friday night. Vinson followed with 19. Graham finished the night with eight points, followed by seven each from Vaughn and Morgan.