As 2017 has drawn to a close, Thunder Radio Sports looks back at some of the highlights of the calendar year for each of the 40 prep teams we follow and report on. Today we look back at the year for the Coffee County Middle School Lady Raider basketball team. While the Lady Raiders are currently in the middle of the season, the highlight for the calendar year came last January. The Lady Raiders completed a 3 game stretch in 3 days culminating in a 5 overtime loss to Blackman in the TMSAA Sub-Sectional game at CCMS.
Thunder Radio reported on the final hectic weekend in a story we published on January 29th
A three point basket by Blackman with 2 seconds remaining in the 5th overtime period brought the Coffee County Middle School Lady Raider basketball team’s season to a stunning finish on Sunday afternoon. Blackman hit five 3 pointers in the five overtime thriller but the final one gave the visitors a 46 to 43 win in the TMSAA Sub-Sectional game at CCMS. The Sunday loss came in the Lady Raiders 3rd game in 3 days.
The Lady Raiders needed a three pointer at the end of the 4th overtime from Bella Vinson to force a 5th overtime. Vinson finished with 28 points. Marley Perry finished with 7 points before fouling out with 3 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter. Kiya Ferrell finished 6 points on 2 crucial 3 pointers. The first came in the 2nd quarter to tie the game and the 2nd one came gave Coffee County the lead with 1:17 left in the 4th quarter. The loss ended the season for Coffee County with a record of 16 and 6 and a runner-up finish in the CTC conference. The Lady Raiders fell in the CTC conference final on Saturday.
In Saturday’s CTC conference final, the Lady Raiders took the heavily favored White County Wariorettes to the wire before falling 42 to 36. Six turnovers in the 3rd quarter turned a 6 point lead for Coffee County into a 3 point deficit entering the 4th quarter. The Lady Raiders cut the deficit to 2 points with 19 seconds remaining, but White County got a basket and a turnover to gain the championship.
Bella Vinson led the Lady Raiders in scoring with 25 points. Kaylee Smartt added 5 points with all of those points coming in the 4th quarter. The Lady Raiders advanced to Saturday’s final with a semifinal win over North Franklin. Following the conference finals, 4 Lady Raiders and 2 Red Raiders were named to the CTC All-Conference teams. Bella Vinson, Marley Perry, Kiya Ferrell and Kylie Phillips were named to the CTC girls’ all-conference team. Hayden Hullett and Jaxon Vaughn were named to the CTC boys’ all-conference team.
Looking toward their 3rd consecutive CTC title, the Lady Raiders advanced to Saturday’s finals with a 47 to 34 win over North Franklin on Friday night. The win sets up a finals matchup with the regular season conference champion Warriorettes of White County. That matchup will take place at 5 PM on Saturday at Tullahoma High School.
The Lady Raiders jumped on North early with a 14 point outburst in the 1st quarter to take a 14 to 2 lead they would never relinquish. The Lady Gators fought back to cut the deficit to 6 points at the half, but Coffee County only allowed North to get to the free throw 3 times in the 2nd half to keep the clock moving.
Bella Vinson led Coffee County in scoring with 29 points. Kylie Phillips finished with 8 points including a pair of 3 pointers. Kaylee Smartt added 6 points as the Lady Raiders improved to 16 and 4 on the season.
The Lady Raiders will be guests on an upcoming Coffee Coaches Show to review their season. The Coffee Coaches Show airs at 10 AM each Saturday and is broadcast live from the showroom of Al White Ford/Lincoln.