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STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT: Historic Raider season comes to an end

Coffee County’s fanbase, pictured here during a free throw by Dobyns-Bennett’s Brady Stump, painted Murphy Center in a sea of red Wednesday, March 16, 2022. — Thunder Radio photo by Holly Peterson

MURFREESBORO — The run had to come to an end sometime.

A magical, Cinderella run to the state tournament that will forever cement the 2021-22 Coffee County Central Red Raider Basketball team in the history books came to a close Wednesday in a 66-52 loss to Dobyns-Bennett High School in the quarter-finals of the TSSAA State Basketball Championships.

The score got slightly lopsided in the end, but didn’t reflect the game.

The Raiders led 15-14 after a quarter and took a 25-22 lead into the locker room. At one point the Raiders led by 8 in the first half at 25-17 on a Brady Nugent breakaway layup. But the Indians hit a a 5-0 run to close the half and quickly seized the lead in the third – going in front 28-27 just 45 seconds into the third quarter.

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Dobyns-Bennett went on to outscored the Raiders 21-12 in the third and the Raiders were unable to recover as the Indians were solid at the free throw line, hitting 17-of-22 (14-18 in the final two periods).

Coffee County was led in scoring by senior guard Aidan Abellana with 11 points. He was 4-for-8 from the field and 3-for-4 at the stripe and was Thunder Radio’s Stone Fort Mortgage Player of the Game.

THIS GAME WAS BROADCAST LIVE ON THUNDER RADIO. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE AUDIO REPLAY

Dayne Crosslin and Nugent each joined Abellana in double-figures with 10 apiece. Phineas Rollman added 8 points and four offensive rebounds. Connor Shemwell added 7 points, Cooper Reed 4 and Jackson Shemwell 2.

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The Raiders knew they would have to deal with a potent Indian offense and it was hard to stop a team with 5 players averaging in double-figures. The Raiders held Jack Browder 5 points under his season average and Malachi Hale, who averages 15 points per game, didn’t hit a single field goal. But Brady Stump more than filled in the void with 27 points. The senior was 5-for-7 from the three-point line.

Season ends

The loss ends a historic season for the Raiders with a 24-10 record.

Coffee County won the postseason district tournament for the first time since 1979, then went on to win the region tournament for the first time since 1977 with a 10-point fourth quarter comeback and a double overtime win over Walker Valley. The Raiders then went on to beat Stewarts Creek in the substate to reach the state tournament for the first time since 1965.

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