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Lady Raiders scrap, fight for district win at Lincoln County

Emma Fulks , pictured here in a game earlier this season, hit three 3-pointers to jump-start a cold Lady Raider offense Friday night in Fayetteville. — Thunder Radio photo by Holly Peterson

It was ugly. But the ending is the only thing that matters. And it ended in a “W.”

The Coffee County Central High School Lady Raiders were ice cold from the field and trailed at the end of the first three quarters, but pulled ahead late in 45-41 road District 8-AAA win over Lincoln County Friday night.

“[Lincoln County] did their homework, knew how to defend us,” said Lady Raider head coach Joe Pat Cope in his postgame interview with Thunder Radio. “We were shooting in the first half, we just weren’t hitting anything.”

It was by far Coffee County’s coldest start of the season. The Lady Raiders trailed 10-3 at the end of the first quarter.

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But Lady Raider Emma Fulks jump started the offense, ripping off three 3-pointers in the first half to loosen up the Lincoln County defense.

Emma Fulks — Photo provided by Shannon Smith Photography

Fulks’ hot shooting loosened up the paint just enough for sophomore post Chloe Gannon in the second half – Gannon scored all 10 of her points in the final two periods in the paint and the free-throw line.

“We really rode Chloe late and she came through,” added Cope.

Lincoln County led by as many as 6 with 4:50 to play, but Coffee County went on a 7-1 run and tied the game at 37-37 on a breakaway layup from senior Bella Vinson.

Elli Chumley drained an 18-foot jumper put the Lady Raiders in front 39-37 and Coffee County didn’t look back from there. Vinson drained 6 consecutive free throws to close out the game for Coffee County. Vinson finished with 10 points.

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Chumley and Fulks each finished with 9 points, Jalie Ruehling 4 and Alivia Reel 3.

The win improves Coffee County to 16-1 and keeps a perfect 5-0 district record. The Lady Raiders will host Tullahoma at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19. You can listen to that game live on Thunder Radio: 107.9 FM, 106.7 FM, 1320 AM streaming on the Manchester Go smartphone app and at thunder1320.com.

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