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STATE BOUND: Coffee County dismantles Hendersonville to secure first state bid in 31 years

Lady Raider head coach Joe Pat Cope celebrates after cutting the net down after the Lady Raiders secured a spot in the state tournament with a win over Hendersonville Saturday night, March 2, 2024. -- Photo by Ashley Parker, THUNDER RADIO WMSR

The anticipation and anxiety building inside Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gymnasium released in a fury of early dominance Saturday night.

Coffee County punched Hendersonville in the mouth to the tune of a 22-0 first quarter lead and never looked back in a 63-30 win in the state sectional, securing the Lady Raider basketball program’s first trip back to the TSSAA State Tournament since winning a gold ball in 1993.

“This is what you work all season for,” said seventh year CHS head coach Joe Pat Cope after the win. “And to finally make that trip back to The Glass House – man I just couldn’t be prouder of the girls, for our city and our school.”

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“We had a great locker room before the game,” added Cope. “We talked about not letting anything stand in the way. You’re the better team, go out and prove it.”

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

The atmosphere inside The Patch was electric from the tip and the Lady Raiders ripped off bucket after bucket after bucket.

Hear the Thunder Radio call as the final seconds ticked off the clock in the state sectional Saturday! “Start the party”

Hendersonville didn’t scored a field goal until 2:14 to play in the first half with the Lady Raiders leading 28-1.

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“I love playing in this kind of atmosphere,” said CHS junior Olivia Vinson, who scored 15 points in the win. “It was just awesome. I knew we had to calm all our nerves and play our game and come out and hit them in the mouth like we did. I love the support we had.”

Vinson was joined in double-figures by Jules Ferrell with 16 – ten of those in the fourth quarter – Channah Gannon with 13 and Natalie Barnes added 11.

“When I came out here and saw all these people,” said Gannon, “I just know our community always has our back.”

Gannon on the win: “It feels really good .. I cried a little.”

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Sophomore Audri Patton pitched in 8 points.

The Lady Raiders forced 12 first half turnovers to help build a 33-9 halftime lead.

Hear our postgame interviews with Joe Pat cope, Olivia Vinson and Channah Gannon.

UP NEXT

The win puts Coffee County into the “Elite 8” — all 8 teams go to the TSSAA State Tournament at MTSU’s Murphy Center in Mufreesboro next week.

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The Lady Raiders will play Dobyns Bennet at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday in the state quarter finals. That is an elimination game.

A win would put CHS up against the winner of Clarksville and defending state champion Bradley Center at approximately 11 a.m. Friday. A win Friday would put the Lady Raiders in the state championship at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The state tournament is single elimination.

All state tournament games can be heard LIVE on Thunder Radio 107.9 FM, 1320 AM, 106.7 FM, Manchester Go App and thunder1320.com

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See the state tournament bracket below

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