Jalie Ruehling didn’t understand what all the hype was about. She said it was just another game.
The junior guard played pressure free Friday, knocking down three 3-pointers and finishing with a game-high 18 points to lead the Coffee County Central Lady Raiders (AP no. 9) to a 54-40 win over Warren County (AP no. 10) in a matchup of two top ten team in McMinnville.
“Everyone was a little anxious about this game and I was like, ‘why’?,” said Ruehling in her postgame comments with Thunder Radio. “I knew we were the better team. I was just like guys, don’t underestimate them but we need to go prove who the better team is.”
The win was Coffee County’s 8th in a row over Warren County, and the Lady Raiders’ 13th straight this season to improve to 16-3 (2-0, District 6-4A).
Coffee County used its defense to take over in the third quarter. CHS led 18-16 at the break and outscored the Lady Pioneers 19-4 in the third quarter and led by as much as 23 in the fourth quarter (44-21) before the Lady Pioneers made a run in garbage time.
The loss snaps a 12 game winning streak for Warren County, moving the Lady Pioneers to 16-3. Warren County never led through the game.
Senior forward Elli Chumley had a big night for the Lady Raiders, finishing with 15 points. She got the offensive flow started early with Warren County overly focused on post Chloe Gannon. Chumley also held Warren County leading scorer Kyra Perkins (11.6ppg) to just 2 points before she eventually fouled out.
“That is something that if you pick up the scorebook and look at it, it’s not in there, it doesn’t tell that chapter (of Elli’s defense),” explained CHS head coach Joe Pat Cope.
Coffee County takes sole possession of first place in the district standings with the win. The Lady Raiders return to action Tuesday, Jan. 18 when they host Shelbyville. Tip is at 6 p.m. and can be heard live on Thunder Radio – 107.9 FM, 1320 AM, Manchester Go app and thunder1320.com.
THIS GAME WAS BROADCAST LIVE ON THUNDER RADIO. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE BROADCAST REPLAY.