A pair of great defensive plays and a huge Ellie Graham three point basket midway through the 1st quarter sparked a 7 point rally that gave Coffee County a lead they would not surrender on Saturday night. The Lady Raiders parlayed that 5 point lead into a 19 point advantage at the half as Coffee County won the championship of the Whitwell Christmas Tournament. Coffee County outlasted a big and physical Red Bank team 60 to 50 to run their record to 13 and 1 on the season.
A trio of sophomores had strong 1st halves as Graham, Jenna Garretson and Ashley Starks all had clutch performances in the half as Coffee County played their 2nd straight game without injured senior post player Alliyah Williams. Junior Jacey Vaughn was also pressed into service in the post and performed well against the tall and physical Lady Lions.
Red Bank cut the Raider lead to 5 before Graham hit a three point basket in the closing seconds of the 3rd quarter and another to open the 4th quarter. An Abby Morgan runner with 4:57 remaining stretched the lead back to 6 points and effectively ended Red Bank’s 2nd half rally. Coffee County hit their free throws down the stretch to claim the tournament title.
Coffee County was led in scoring by Bella Vinson who finished with 22 points. Garretson added 12 points, Graham finished with 10, Morgan had 9 points and Starks tallied 7 points.
The Lady Raiders and Red Raiders return to action on Tuesday when they welcome Warren County to the Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gym. The girls’ game will tip off at 6 PM with the boys to follow. Thunder Radio will be on hand to bring you the broadcast beginning with the Char-El Apartments and Home Rental Pregame Show at 5:50.