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REGION CHAMPIONS! Lady Raiders blowout Falcons, will host state sectional Saturday

Coffee County played arguably its best basketball of the season on the biggest stage Wednesday.

The CHS Lady Raiders jumped all over Lincoln County Wednesday, leading by 19 at the half and pulling away for a 56-30 win in the Region 5-4A Championship game at Centennial High School. It marks the first ever region championship in program history.

“It is a special moment for our program and for our girls,” said CHS head coach Joe Pat Cope. “This team is so close on and off the floor. Tonight I feel like we played some of our best basketball of the season.

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“We celebrate tonight then we get ready for another good team on Saturday.”

The win was the fourth time the Lady Raiders have beaten a tough Lincoln County team in 25 days. This time the Falcons were missing star post Alyssa Petty due to injury and Channah Gannon took advantage. Gannon scored a game-high 21 points on her way to earning Region 5-4A Tournament MVP.

“I knew without Alyssa in the game to (guard me) I needed to get to work,” explained Gannon.

When Gannon was covered she found outlets. Coffee County got 13 from Olivia Vinson and 10 from Natalie Barnes.

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Freshman point guard Jules Ferrell scored 7 and facilitated big plays on offense.

“There were some passes Jules made tonight that got us points that she just doesn’t make early in the season,” said Cope. “Her growth and her ability to run that position has helped our offense tremendously.”

Audri Patton added a 3-pointer and Ella Arnold scored 2 on an inside bucket in the win.

The Lady Raiders will now host Hendersonville at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 2 in the State Sectional. A win advances the Lady Raiders to the TSSAA State Tournament next week. A loss ends the season.

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Tickets Saturday will be $8 and will be sold at the gate and through Gofan.co.

Thunder Radio will be on hand for the broadcast at 107.9 FM, 1320 AM, Manchester Go App and Thunder1320.com.

Coffee County’s Olivia Vinson (left) and Cannah Gannon named to the All-Region team, will Gannon taking Region MVP. — Photo by Holly Peterson, THUNDER RADIO WMSR

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