It was a marathon match Tuesday night at Joe Frank Patch Gymnasium. Taking on cross-county rival Warren County at Central High School, the Red Raiders fought through all four quarters and then some for a 61-55 overtime victory.
"The guys are resilient.They're resilient, they fought back," Coach Micah Williams said. "Our guys kept their heads in it, kept fighting, kept competing and that's something I knew our guys would do at the beginning of this year."
The Pioneers began the back-and-forth game by taking a 9-3 lead through the first few minutes. Free throws from Darius Rozier, Jaxon Vaughn and Josh Perry over the remainder of the first quarter brought the Raiders back for a tie at 13 heading into the second.
With four minutes to go in the first half, Andrew Mahaffey hit a shot from beyond the three arc to give CHS a 21-18 lead, its first of the night. The Raiders took advantage and went into halftime up 34-26 on Warren County.
In the third quarter, the Pioneers began to circle the wagons. Warren County was electric from the three point line through multiple lead changes and went into the fourth up 43-36.
Down by 10 following another Pioneer three-pointer, CHS slowly climbed back into the game over the course of the final minutes of regulation. With the clock running down, Rozier knocked in a basket to tie the game at 48 apiece. Not long after, Harley Hinshaw rattled off a shot of his own to give Coffee County the lead with under two to play.
"I heard the ref talking down there telling their player to back off because he was fouling me," Hinshaw said. "He takes a step back and I'm able to bury him under the rim and just do what I do."
A late Warren County bucket brought the score up to 50-50 and sent the game into overtime.
Free throw shooting in the first few minutes of extra time put CHS ahead and the Raiders escaped with a six-point win.
"It was a big test," Hinshaw said. "Going into overtime, tough game, tough referees, lot of technical fouls, lot of talking and we were able to get the win."
Rozier led the team with 18 points, with Hinshaw trailing at 15. Mahaffey followed with 11. Vaughn and Chase Simpkins each hit five points. Kyle Farless finished the game with four points, right in front of Perry's three.