The rematch between Blackman and Coffee County’s girls lacked the drama of the first round.
Coffee County jumped all over the Blaze on their home floor, building an 18-2 lead and then hanging on to cruise to a 56-34 win. It was the Lady Raiders’ third straight win over Blackman.
Natalie Barnes – who played the hero with a buzzer beater when Coffee County beat Blackman back on November 28th – led the way with 19 points for CHS, followed by Olivia Vinson with 14. Jules Ferrell pitched in 10.
Coffee County was 9-of-11 at the stripe and forced 21 Blackman turnovers.
Both teams were absent starters in the game. Coffee County is without Channah Gannon, who underwent ankle surgery on Wednesday. And Nakayjah Holman left the program. Meanwhile, Blackman was without guard Lyriq Mastin and post Aayinah Dunbar.
The win makes the Lady Raiders 9-1 on the season.
Coffee County Red Raiders 40, Blackman 43
The drama was all reserved for the second game.
Blackman built a 15-2 lead early and then led 30-12 in the third quarter.
But the Raiders went wild after that. Coffee County took off on a 13-0 run to narrow the gap, then eventually cut the deficit to 1 point on a 3-pointer from Cooper Reed in the final moments. But that’s as close as the Raiders could get, falling 43-40.
Reed had a look at a 3 at the buzzer that would have tied the game but it just missed.
The finish was impressive considering the Raiders looked dead in the water to close the first half. Reed score all 8 of Coffee County’s first half points until a bucket by Jackson Shemwell with 48 seconds left in the half. The Raiders turned the ball over 8 times in the first half but only 3 times in the final to quarters.
Reed finished with 16 points, Jackson Shemwell had 10 and Cayden Trail 9.
Both CHS teams will return home Saturday afternoon for matinee basketball against Ravenwood – the Lady Raiders tip at 3 p.m. with the boys to follow. Both games will be broadcast live on Thunder Radio WMSR 107.9 FM, AM 1320, Manchester Go app and thunder1320.com.