Big moments are for big players.
And none are too big for Bella.
Coffee County Central’s Bella Vinson drained a 3-pointer with under 8 seconds to play in regulation Tuesday night at Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gymnasium, tying the game and catapulting the CHS Lady Raiders to a 69-65 win over rival White County in overtime.
Vinson’s heroics capped an improbable comeback for Coffee County. The Lady Raiders trailed 57-49 with a minute to play after committing a turnover and a three-point play by Warriorette Mia Murray.
“We had to keep our team up,” said Vinson about trailing by 8 with less than a minute to play. “The game is not over until the last buzzer and I knew that. We just kept pushing and kept playing hard.”
Coffee County clawed back – starting with a 3-pointer from sophomore Jalie Ruehling with 32 seconds to play. Another bucket by Ruehling with 19 seconds to play cut the score to 58-56.
White County missed on a free throw with a 59-56 lead, setting the stage for Vinson to tie the game at 59-59.
Coffee County quickly jumped in front in overtime and held on, using four consecutive free-throws from Vinson to seal the win.
The win moves the Raiders to 3-0 on the young season and avenges two tough losses to the Warriorettes from last season. Something Vinson has been waiting on.
“The way both games ended [last year], they’ve been on our schedule [and] circled,” said Vinson, who finished with 23 points. Of her 23, 21 came in the second half and overtime.
Coffee County trailed 26-25 at the halftime break behind a big first half in the post from sophomore Chloe Gannon, who finished the night with 17 points. Alivia Reel added 11 for Coffee County and Ruehling 8.
“How about Chloe Gannon in the first half,” bragged CHS head coach Joe Pat Cope.
Vinson was named Stone Fort Mortgage player of the game by Thunder Radio.
The Lady Raiders will be back in action Wednesday night in Lynchburg to take on Moore County. Tip is set for 7:30 p.m. and you can listen live on Thunder Radio.
Want to listen to the replay of the broadcast on Thunder Radio? Scroll down past the photo gallery.