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CHAMPIONS – Lady Raiders squeak past Warren County, claim 5th straight district title

Lady Raider junior Jalie Ruehling fights through an apparent foul Friday night, Feb. 4, 2022. On her birthday, Ruehling scored 11 points to help the Lady Raiders beat Warren County. — Thunder Radio photo by Holly Peterson

If championship rings were handed out for district championships, Coffee County would have gotten one for the thumb Friday night.

The CHS Lady Raiders fought off a pesky Warren County team in McMinnville, winning 48-45 to claim their 5th consecutive regular season district championship.

“Warren County is a good basketball team and Shelby Smartt was probably the best player on the floor tonight,” said 5th year Coffee County head coach Joe Pat Cope.

Junior Jalie Ruehling was pretty good, too. The junior has enjoyed playing Warren County all season – scoring in double figures all three games. She scored 11 points Friday night, including a pair of 3-pointers, and handled physical Warren County defensive pressure well all night.

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“I like playing in tight games,” said Ruehling, who was also celebrating her 17th birthday. “Everyone did a good job staying calm late in the game.”

Warren County tied the game at 37-37 on a bucket from Smartt midway through the fourth quarter. From there, Coffee County found some offense. Alivia Reel answered with a midrange jumper and Ruehling buried a 3 with 2:46 on the clock to push CHS up 43-39. With a 2-point lead, Elli Chumley hit a free throw with 3.5 seconds to push CHS up 3.

“Every time they made a shot our girls stepped up and answered with a shot,” added Cope.

Chloe Gannon led Coffee County with 12 points, followed by Olivia Vinson with 12. Vinson hit three treys. Ruehling added 11 and Elli Chumley 8. Chumley was named Thunder Radio’s Stone Fort Mortgage Player of the Game.

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Coffee County gets the regular season sweep over the Lady Pioneers with the win, going 3-0 against Warren County.

Coffee County improves to 22-3 on the year with the win and clinches first place in District 6-4A. The Lady Raiders will hit the road Saturday night at Rutherford County powerhouse Rockvale. Girls tip at 6 p.m. with the boys to follow – both games broadcast live on Thunder Radio at 107.9 FM, 1320 AM, 106.7 FM, Manchester Go app and


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