CLEVELAND, TENN — Midway through the fourth quarter – Coffee County took a lead over the defending 4A State Champion Bradley Central Bearettes on Saturday.
But the Lady Raiders couldn’t finish the job.
After Olivia Vinson hit a free throw and pushed the Lady Raiders in front 39-38 with 4:22 on the clock, the Bearettes went on to outscore Coffee County 17-7 and beat the Lady Raiders 55-46 in the Bearette Thanksgiving Classic — a game you heard live on Thunder Radio.
The score got slightly lopsided in the end of what was otherwise a clear matchup of top 5 teams in the state.
Both teams traded haymakers in the third quarter, with Coffee county tying the game at 33-33 on a Natalie Barnes 3-pointer before Bradley answered with a 3 to go up 36-33 after 3 quarters.
Freshman guard Jules Ferrell tied the game with a 3 a minute into the fourth quarter, then Vinson gave the Lady Raiders their first lead of the second half with 4:22 to play.
Bradley pulled in front 47-41 and the Lady Raiders got another big 3 from Barnes with 1:28 on the clock to get to within a possession, but Coffee County got no closer.
Barnes led all scorers with 19 points. Kimora Fields had 18 for Bradley.
Ferrell finished with 11 for the Lady Raiders. Ava McIntosh had 6 points – including a 3 at the halftime buzzer to send the Lady Raiders into the locker room down 1. Channah Gannon and Vinson each had 5 for the Lady Raiders.
The loss drops Coffee County to 6-1 overall. Bradley Central moves to 4-0 and the Bearettes have now won 40 of their last 41, including 21 straight at home.
Perennial state power Blackman will visit Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gymnasium Tuesday for what will be another matchup of top girls teams in the state. Girls will tip at 6 p.m. with boys to follow. Both games can be heard live on Thunder Radio WMSR 107.9 FM, AM 1320, Manchester Go app and thunder1320.com.
PHOTOS BELOW BY HOLLY PETERSON, THUNDER RADIO WMSR 107.9 FM, AM1320