Turnovers costly in Lady Raider loss to Page

Junior Chloe Gannon goes up for 2 of her 20 points Saturday night, Nov. 20, 2021. . — Thunder Radio photo by Holly Peterson

Lady Raider head basketball coach Joe Pat Cope knew a time would come when he would miss starting point guard Jalie Ruehling.

That time came in game 3 of the season.

Coffee County struggled against the pressure of Page High School Saturday night, turning the ball over 16 times in a 50-41 loss to cap a 2-1 weekend in Hall of Champions games at CHS.

“Our guard kind of disappeared on us tonight,” said Cope, noting that without Ruehling, other guards have to step up. Ruehling is currently sidelined after tearing her ACL in a summer game in June.

Senior forward Elli Chumley offered a blunt assessment of Coffee County’s performance.

“I think this game just showed how out of shape we are and how much work we have to do. I guarantee you we will be in the gym everyday this (Thanksgiving) week,” said Chumley.

The Lady Raiders fell behind by 12 midway through the second quarter, but otherwise were able to keep the game close. Coffee County closed the gap to 6 after three quarters but the Lady Raiders were held to just 7 points in the fourth quarter.

What offense Coffee County was able to muster was in the post – as the Lady Raiders fed Chloe Gannon to the tune of 20 points. But there wasn’t much production after that – Chumley had 6 points, Channah Gannon 5 and Olivia Vinson and Emma Fulks each had 3 points.

Coffee County started the game 10 of 10 at the free throw line, but faded in the second half, hitting just 1 of its final 7 at the stripe.

By contrast, Page’s guard play was outstanding. Lili Wilken scored 18 and McKenzie Cochran 20 for the Lady Patriots.

Coffee County will have a few days off before taking on Blackman on Monday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m.