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BASKETBALL: Coffee County splits with Columbia Lions

Ella Arnold scored 11 for the Lady Raiders Friday night at Columbia. -- Photo by Holly Peterson, THUNDER RADIO WMSR

Coffee County overcame a poor start and turned to unlikely heroes – but the Lady Raiders still got the job done Friday night in Columbia.

The Lady Raiders got a career high 11 points from Ella Arnold – including 5 straight in the fourth quarter to squash a Columbia rally and help the Lady Raiders to a 49-37 win.

“I’m confident in my shot when we need it,” Arnold said after the game.

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In the fourth quarter, Columbia rallied to cut Coffee County’s lead to 3 at 34-31. But Arnold answered with a 3 pointer and another bucket to end the Lions 8-0 run and give the Lady Raiders some space.

Early on it was Coffee County having to come back. The Lions jumped in front 10-4 early – forcing five Lady Raider turnovers in the first 3 minutes of game play.

But the Lady Raiders fought back behind a strong first half from Olivia Vinson and trailed by 2 at the break. Vinson scored 11 of her team-high 15 in the first half.

Vinson buried a 3 to give the Lady Raiders a lead to start the third quarter and they never gave it back up.

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Coffee County smothered Columbia with a handful of different defenses – including a tough 1-3-1.

“We made some adjustments to our defenses through the week and it really paid off for us tonight,” said Lady Raider head coach Joe Pat Cope.

Freshman guard Jules Ferrell finished with 11 for the Lady Raiders, Natalie Barnes and Ava McIntosh each scored 5 and Audri Patton 2.

After turning the ball over 10 times in the first half, CHS had just 2 more in the final two periods.

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The win improves the Lady Raiders to 18-3 on the season and 2-0 in district play.

RAIDERS 53, COLUMBIA 63

Nothing seemed to go right for the Red Raider boys Friday night.

Columbia jumped in front and never gave it up – beating the Raiders 63-53.

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Coffee County cut the deficit to to 3 with 3:16 to play in the third quarter on a 3-pointer from Brady Wright, who scored all 8 of his points in the third. But Coffee County never got closer than that.

Cooper Reed paced the Raiders with 22 points. Wirght and Jackson Shemwell each had 8.

Akai Hunt led Columbia with 19 and Damarion Polk had 14.

The loss snapped a 4 game winning streak for the Raiders, dropping them to 10-10 and 1-1 in district play.

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Cooper Reed goes up for 2 of his 22 points Friday night. — Photo by Holly Peterson, THUNDER RADIO WMSR

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