The Coffee County Middle School basketball teams entered Thursday night’s semifinal round with the tall task of beating Warren County in McMinnville. Both games were intense from start to finish and both games went to overtime. The Lady Raiders pulled out a 37 to 36 win while the Red Raiders fell 35 to 32.
In the girls’ game, the Lady Raiders rolled out to an 11 to 4 lead only to see Warren County chip at that lead and tie the game at 21 heading to the 4th quarter. Tied at 32 entering overtime, Warren County pulled ahead 36 to 35 as time was running out. Olivia Vinson hit the game winning basket to lift the Lady Raiders to Friday night’s conference title game. Vinson finished with 10 points leading Coffee County in scoring. Taylor Anthony added 8 points while Bella Lawson chipped in 6 points as the Lady Raiders improved to 17 and 4 on the season.
The Red Raiders erased a 6 point halftime deficit to take a 1 point lead entering the wild and wooly 4th quarter. The Red Raiders got a 3 point basket from Brendon Sheppard to tie the game at the end of regulation and send the game to overtime. In overtime, Warren County got a basket and a free throw with 4.7 seconds left to grab the win. The Red Raiders were held to 2 free throws in the overtime period as they fell to 15 and 5 on the season. Sheppard and Cooper Reed each had 10 points to lead Coffee Middle in scoring. Ethan Hargrove finished with 9 points.
The Lady Raiders will return to Warren County High School on Friday night as they will square off against White County in the CTC Championship game. That game will tip off at 6 PM. The Red Raiders will return to the court on Friday, January 24th as they will compete in the TMSAA Area Tournament at Coffee County Middle School. By virtue of their regular season performance, the Red Raiders earned the #1 seed and will take on the winner of Wednesday’s game between Spring Hill and White County. Friday’s game will tip off at 6 PM.