Coach Joe Pat Cope earned his 300th win as a head coach on Tuesday at “The Patch” at Coffee County High School.
Coach Cope’s Lady Raiders and the Blackman Blaze were tied at 21 at halftime, and early in the third quarter, Junior Center Channah Gannon injured her ankle and had to sit the remainder of the game.
The Lady Raiders grabbed the lead after third, 40-34, thanks to hot shooting Natalie Barnes and outstanding team defense.
The Blaze tied the game at 48 with only seconds to go, and that’s when Barnes became the night’s hero. She fought through the Blackman defense and hit a 12-foot jumper as time ran out to secure the exciting 50-48 win for Coffee County. Barnes finished with 20 points, with 16 coming in the second half, as she hit four 3-point shots. She was named the Rooster 101.5 Player of the Game.
Freshman Jules Ferrell continued her solid play by scoring 10 points and 5 of 6 from the free-throw line. The Coffee County ladies were 13 of 18 at the charity stripe.
Olivia Vinson did a great job rebounding and scored 9 in the Lady Raiders’ seventh win of the season (7-1). Gannon added 7 first-half points.
In a post-game interview, Ferrell, Nakayjah Holman, and Audri Patton talked about how good they felt about their team’s defense against a tough team like Blackman.
In boys’ action, Coffee County fell behind 13-3 after the first quarter. They had to fight from behind throughout the game and trailed 20-12 to Blackman at the half.
Brady Wright got hot in the third and helped the Raiders cut the lead to four. Wright scored 10 points in the quarter to earn him the Rooster 101.5 Player of the Game.
In the fourth, the Blaze caught fire again to walk away with a 50-28 non-district win and drop Coffee County to 2-3 overall this season.
Cooper Reed also scored 10 in the game as he continues his consistent play during the 23-24 campaign.
The Red Raiders only shot four free throws, all by Caden Trail, as he connected on one.
Coffee County teams will host their county rival, Tullahoma Wildcats, on Friday night. Hear the games on the Rooster 101.5, www.rooster1015.com, or the Rooster 101.5 app.
Top photo: #23 Natalie Barnes handles the ball in the front court as Jules Ferrell watches the play develop.