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STATE SECTIONAL: Lady Raiders to host Hendersonville Saturday for bid to TSSAA State Tournament. Tickets on sale now

Lady Raiders Channah Gannon, Natalie Barnes, Olivia Vinson and Jules Ferrell celebrate as the final seconds tick away on a region championship Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024. -- Photo by Holly Peterson, THUNDER RADIO WMSR

By Josh Peterson, SPORTS DIRECTOR

Coffee County Lady Raider basketball has piled up 31 wins this season.

Just one more and they can go dancing at The Glass House next week for the TSSAA State Basketball Tournament for the first time since 1993.

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It won’t be an easy win, though. The Lady Raiders (31-3 overall) welcome the Hendersonville Commandos (20-9) to Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gymnasium Saturday night for the TSSAA State Sectional. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

Tickets will be on sale at the gate for $10. But with extraordinarily high ticket demand expected, tickets can be pre-purchased digitally through Go Fan for $9.40 ($8 plus fees). Click here to purchase tickets in advance.

Season ticket passes will not be accepted for this game.

ABOUT HENDERSONVILLE

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In the words of Coffee County head coach Joe Pat Cope: “You don’t win 20 games in that region up there without being a good basketball team. There are only good teams left in the state. Our girls are focused on what is in front of us.”

Since hitting a 3-game skid between Dec. 30 and Jan. 9, Hendersonville has gone 9-3 with all three of those losses coming to Region 6-4A champion Beech. The Commandos won the District 12-4A title with a 44-40 win over Beech before losing to the Bucs 52-46 in overtime of the region title game.

ABOUT COFFEE COUNTY

The Lady Raiders have rattled off 16 straight wins with arguably their best all-around effort of the season coming in a 56-30 win over Lincoln County in the Region 5-4A championship game on Wednesday.

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“We played maybe some of our best basketball of the season in all phases,” said Cope.

Coffee County’s arsenal of weapons has been impressive. Olivia Vinson claimed the District 9-4A regular season MVP, then sophomore guard Natalie Barnes won the district tournament MVP and Channah Gannon went and averaged 19.3 a game in the region tournament to claim the Region Tournament MVP.

HOW TO LISTEN / WATCH

Saturday’s sectional game can be heard live on Thunder Radio. For anyone with radios inside the gymnasium, that is 107.9 FM or AM1320. Anyone listening from a distance can use those frequencies or the Manchester Go Smartphone app or click here.

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Anyone wishing to watch the game can see the video feed on the Thunder Radio 107.9 Facebook page. or Raider TV Youtube. Video broadcast will be produced by the CHS Audio Visual Student Department with Thunder Radio broadcast attached. (Video sponsored by Magnolia Family Medicine & Wellness and Lynn Degroff to cover TSSAA video streaming fee for sectional games).

Radio pregame show will begin at 6:30 p.m. Video stream will begin shortly before tip off.

WHAT IS NEXT

There are 16 teams left across the state. After Saturday, there will be only 8. The winners in the state sectional games advance to the TSSAA State Tournament next week at Murphy Center at MTSU. Loser season comes to a close.

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State tournament quarterfinal games begin on Wednesday, March 6 with semi-final games on Friday, March 8 and championship game on Saturday, March 9.

WHO IS LEFT

Here is a look at all girls 4A teams playing across the state in the sectional round on Saturday.

Bearden at Sevier County

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Dobyns Bennett at Farragut

Oakland at Bradley Central

Cleveland at Blackman

Hendersonville at Coffee County

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Lincoln County at Beech

Collierville at Clarksville

Rossview at Bartlett

As a side note, the Lady Raiders are 9-1 against other teams remaining in the sectional. The Lady Raiders beat Lincoln County four times this year, beat Oakland twice, beat Blackman twice, beat Beech once and lost to Bradley Central in the Bearette Thanksgiving Classic.

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CORRECTION: an earlier version of this story listed tickets for $8 at the gate because that is what was communicated to us by CHS Administration on Wednesday. It has been changed to $10.

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