Freshman guard Natalie Barnes buried a 3-pointer to tie the game in the final minutes and Coffee County had the ball down by 1 with 30 seconds to play.
But Blackman forced a turnover and hit free throws late to beat the Lady Raiders 54-49 in a matchup of top 5 teams in the midstate Monday night in Murfreesboro.
Blackman built a 6-point lead on three different occasions, but the Lady Raiders fought back each time.
Barnes knocked down a 3 to tie the game at 47-47 with 4:08 to play. Then down two, Coffee County got a pair of free throws from Jalie Ruehling to tie the game at 49-49 at 1:47. The Blaze got a free throw with 1:20 to play and the Lady Raiders had two possessions to take a lead and turned the ball over both times – 2 of their 18 turnovers on the night.
Coffee County trailed 20-19 after one quarter but gave up an 11-3 run and eventually trailed 32-27 at halftime. The Blaze pushed the lead to 39-31 late in the third but Coffee County fought back and pushed the issue for the rest of the night.
Chloe Gannon battled foul trouble but still led the way for Coffee County with 13 points. Olivia Vinson added 11, Barnes 9, Channah Gannon 8, Jalie Ruehling 7 and Alivia Reel 1.
Coffee County drops to 7-1 with the loss. They will get a rematch with Blackman – Dec. 9 in Manchester. Before that, the Lady Raiders have other games, including a Dec. 2 home date with Tullahoma. That will be Winterfest and Bella Vinson jersey retirement night.