The game plan for Tullahoma was clear from the start – keep the ball out of Bella Vinson’s hands and slow down the pace of Thursday night’s regular-season finale.
Unfortunately for the home team, that strategy only lasted one quarter as Coffee County took total control in the second quarter on its way to a 47-26 victory. Vinson led the Lady Raiders with 18 points in her team’s win.
Early on, it was Tullahoma that gained the upper advantage after Morgan Carr knocked down a 3-pointer with 5:18 remaining in the first quarter. However, Coffee County shut out the Lady Wildcats the remainder of the opening period and led 9-3 after the first eight minutes of play.
After scoring just two points in the first quarter, Vinson took over in the second period, netting 10 points. Tullahoma tried to keep things close as Buckner drained a 3-pointer to start the second quarter. Eleanor Fults, Lucy Nutt and Lily Melton each added a field goal for the Lady Wildcats.
Just before the buzzer sounded though, Vinson drained her second 3-pointer in the second quarter, giving Coffee County a 23-12 lead heading into halftime.
Early in the third quarter, the teams traded a basket and Tullahoma trailed 25-14 with 7:08 remaining in the period. Once again, the Lady Wildcats’ offense struggled to connect on baskets and was held to just a free throw the remainder of the period.
Nutt hit that lone shot for Tullahoma and Coffee County took a 33-15 advantage into the final period of play. Vinson and Jalie Ruehling both finished with four points in the third quarter, while Elli Chumley added a field goal.
Ten seconds into the final period of play, Nutt splashed home a 3-pointer to cut Tullahoma’s deficit down to 33-18. Bowen followed with another basket, but the Lady Raiders found an answer and led 37-20 with 7 minutes left on the clock.
Tullahoma was held to just six points the remainder of the contest, four of which came from the free throw line. Kailyn Farrell netted four of those points, hitting a field goal and a pair of shots from the charity stripe.
Melton added the final two points of the contest after getting fouled with 2.3 seconds left on the clock. Melton knocked in both of her free throws to cut the score to 47-26.
Chloe Gannon took over in the fourth quarter for Coffee County as she netted eight points in the final eight minutes of play. Ruehling, Vinson and Chumley each added a pair of free throws.
After Vinson netted 18 points, Gannon scored 10 points for the Lady Raiders. Chumley finished with nine points, while Ruehling put up six points and Emma Fulks scored four points.
Farrell and Nutt both put up six points to lead Tullahoma in scoring. Melton added four points for the Lady Wildcats, while Buckner and Carr each put up three points. Fults and Bowen each scored two points to round out the scoring for Tullahoma.
The Lady Wildcats (15-8, 9-3) finished second in the District 8-AAA standings and received a first-round bye in the district tournament. Tullahoma will next host a game on Friday at 6 p.m.