Lady Raider Basketball Opens Whitwell Tournament with OT Win over Ringgold, Georgia

Jacey Vaughn of CHS basketball

Opening up a 15 to 1 lead over Ringgold, Georgia, it appeared that the Lady Raider basketball team was going to coast to an easy first round win in the Whitwell Christmas Tournament on Thursday afternoon.  But as Coffee County soon realized, the Lady Tigers of Ringgold showed the moxie of a team that finished in the Top 16 in Class AAA last season in the Georgia state tournament.  Ringgold chased down Coffee County and forced the game into overtime where Coffee County clawed their way to a 70 to 65 win.

With Coffee County leading 25 to 9 with 6:19 left in the half, the Georgia Tigers closed the half on a 14 to 2 run to make the game a 4 point difference in the half.  The Lady Raiders built the lead back to 9 points entering the 4th quarter, but missed free throws by the Lady Raiders allowed Ringgold to take a 2 point lead with 19 seconds left in regulation.  Jacey Vaughn stepped to the free throw line and calmly sank 2 free throws with 2 seconds on the clock to force the game to overtime tied at 60.

In overtime, Ellie Graham had a huge rebound and sank 3 of her 4 free throw attempts and Abby Morgan had 5 points in the extra period to lift the Lady Raiders to the huge tournament win.   Bella Vinson led Coffee County in scoring with 20 points, Morgan finished with 19 points and Vaughn added 18 points.  Senior post player Alliyah Williams finished with 4 points but went down with a knee injury early in the 2nd half.  Her availability for the rest of the tournament is undetermined.

The win advances the Lady Raiders to Friday’s semifinals as they will take on Fairview Christian Academy out of Athens at 3 PM at Whitwell High School.  The tournament championship and consolation games will take place on Saturday.