Absolutely nothing about Monday night’s game in Shelbyville went how it was supposed to.
The Eaglettes took Coffee County to the wire, tying the game with a minute to play. But the Coffee County Lady Raiders made just enough plays when they needed them and escaped Rick Insell Gymnasium with a 47-46 District 6-4A win.
“We definitely have some things to work on because that was not not our best effort,” said Coffee County head coach Joe Pat Cope. “Teams are forcing us to do some different things and we didn’t handle the pressure well tonight.”
But Coffee County won – which counts the same – and the final couple of possessions proved to be the difference.
Shelbyville got the ball inside to Lily Brown for a bucket off the glass with 1:15 on the clock to tie the game at 44-44. It was the first time Shelbyville had tied the game despite pulling to within 2 and to within 1 at different points of the game.
Lady Raider senior Elli Chumley split a pair at the free throw line with 38 seconds to put CHS back up 45-44. Shelbyville’s Lanaya Young took off to the basket for a chance to take the lead with 10 seconds to play, but Lady Raider post Chloe Gannon put up a defensive wall and forced the miss.
Coffee County freshman Olivia Vinson ended up with the ball in her hands and nailed 2 key free throws with 7.9 seconds on the clock to put the Lady Raiders back up 47-44. Shelbyville inexplicably went for a layup as time expired to make the final score 47-46.
“We put our defense in a position that we thought would kind of lure them to go to the basket, and it worked,” explained Cope.
Gannon finished with 17 tough points to lead the way for Coffee County.
Early in the game, it looked like the Lady Raiders were well on their way to their third blowout win over the Eaglettes. Olivia Vinson poured in 8 points in the first quarter and Coffee County led 16-4 after a period. But Shelbyville stormed back, taking off on a 10-0 run to start the second quarter and ended up down 23-14 at the break. Shelbyville cut the deficit to 1 point in the third quarter but never tied the game or took the lead.
Coffee County completely lost control offensively at points, turning the ball over 18 times.
Jalie Ruehling scored 9 points for the Lady Raiders, Elli Chumley added 7, Alivia Reel 3 and Channah Gannon 2.
The win marks the third straight tight game for CHS. The Lady Raiders beat Warren County by 3 Friday night, Rockvale by 3 Saturday and Shelbyville by 1.
It is the 21st straight win for the Lady Raiders. They return to action Tuesday night at Franklin County for the final district game of the season. Tip is at 6 p.m. (girls game only). You can hear it live on Thunder Radio: 107.9 FM, 1320 AM, 106.7 FM, Manchester Go app and thunder1320.com.