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HS BASKETBALL: Lady Raider season comes to abrupt end with OT loss to McMinn County

After Monday night, only 16 girls basketball teams remain in the state of Tennessee.

Unfortunately, Coffee County isn’t one of them.

Second half turnovers hurt Coffee County Monday night (Feb. 28, 2022) in Manchester and the Lady Raiders fell to visiting McMinn County 53-51 in overtime of the Region 3-4A semi-finals.

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McMinn County advances to play Bradley Central in the in the region championship and earns a berth in the state sectional. The Lady Raider season comes to a close.

Coffee County led 30-23 at the half behind hot shooting from Olivia Vinson and solid post play from Chloe Gannon. But the Lady Cherokees took off on a 6-0 run to start the third quarter and close the gap. Coffee County led 36-33 after three quarters before McMinn County finally took the lead in the fourth quarter and actually pulled ahead by 5 before Vinson nailed a 3-pointer (she finished with 14 points).

Lady Raider post Chloe Gannon tied the game later at 41-41. Then the Lady Cherokees held the ball for the final 2 minutes of regulation for a final shot – an attempt that was thwarted by the Lady Raider interior defense.

But Coffee County instantly fell behind by 4 in overtime within the first minute and the Lady Raiders were never able to tie or regain the lead. A baseline jumper from Lady Raider Kiya Ferrell with 17.9 seconds to play pulled CHS to within 50-48, but McMinn County was too good at the free-throw line and Coffee County could not manage a defensive steal.

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Chloe Gannon led the Lady Raiders with 16 points on the night, followed by Vinson with 14. Reel scored 6 off the bench and senior Elli Chumley had 5 before fouling out.

Peytyn Oliver of McMinn County led all scorers with 22.

Turnovers were costly for the Lady Raiders in the second half. CHS turned the ball over just 4 times in the first quarter, but ended up with 9 in the second half for 13 on the night – including some costly ones in the back court and on forced entry passes to the post.

Coffee County falls to 0-3 in Region semi-final games in the past four years – a hump the Lady Raiders have struggled to get over in the postseason.

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CHS final record is 29-4 in a season that included a 26-game winning streak (that ended Monday night), a regular season district championship and a district tournament championship.

The loss also marks the end of the high school basketball careers for Ferrell and Chumley.

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