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DISTRICT TOURNAMENT: Lady Raiders roll over Rebelettes; move to title game

Lady Raider Olivia Vinson works the way down the court against Franklin County Monday night. Vinson led all scorers with 17 points in a 77-26 Lady Raider win over the Rebelettes. -- Photo by Holly Peterson, Thunder RAdio

The Coffee County Central Lady Red Raiders are headed back to the district championship.

The Lady Raiders methodically dismantled Franklin County’s Rebelettes Monday night, winning 77-26 in the District 6-4A tournament semi-finals in Manchester – a game you heard live on Thunder Radio.

“We had a really good week of practice,” said sophomore guard Olivia Vinson, who led all scorers with 17 points. “This is a new season.”

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It was a different team than Coffee County put on the floor to close the regular season. The Lady Raiders only turned the ball over one time in the first half on their way to a 47-13 lead. Coffee County mixed in the entire bench all night.

“We got the bleachers out last week and we were running them for every turnover,” said CHS head coach Joe Pat Cope. “We had probably the best week of practice I’ve been associated with in 15 years.”

It was the third time the Lady Raiders (28-2 overall / 6-1 District 6-4A) beat Franklin County this season.

Also reaching double-digit points for Coffee County in the win were Emaleigh Tarpley with 11 and Channah Gannon with 10. Chloe Gannon added 9, Jalie Ruehling and Alivia Reel 7, Bryleigh Gray 6, Natalie Barnes 5, Audri Patton 3 and Addi Sartain 2.

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The win puts Coffee County on a collision course with Warren County in the District Championship game Friday night – assuming the Lady Pioneers beat Shelbyville in their semi-final matchup. The Lady Pioneers beat the Lady Raiders for the first time in 13 games back on Feb. 3, 48-42 in McMinnville.

The win also guarantees the Lady Raiders will host the third or fourth seed from District 5-4A (Chattanooga / Cleveland area) in the Region 3-4A quarter-finals late next week, regardless of the district championship outcome.

The district championship will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gymnasium and tickets will be available at the gate for $10 (or $9 via Gofan). The game will also be broadcast by Thunder Radio WMSR: AM 1320, 107.9 FM and on the Manchester Go smartphone app.

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