After trailing by 18 points late in the third quarter, Tullahoma nearly pulled off an improbable comeback at home against Coffee County. However, a shot by the Red Raiders in the final seconds, allowed them to escape with a 54-52 road win on Tuesday.
With 2:38 remaining in the third quarter, Jaylon Wooten knocked down a 3-pointer, giving Coffee County a 38-20 lead. Fast forward to the fourth quarter, and Tullahoma came rallying back, even taking a brief 52-51 lead with 21 seconds left in the contest.
On the opposite end of the floor, the Red Raiders nearly lost ball control as the Wildcats nearly forced a steal. In a battle for possession, Kyle Farless grabbed the ball for Coffee County, passing to his teammate Jaxon Vaughn, who was standing on in the right corner of the band.
After getting the ball, Vaughn quickly put up a shot – which was good – while he was fouled on the same play with 4.4 seconds remaining on the clock. Vaughn knocked down his ensuing free throw to give the Red Raiders a 54-52 lead.
With little time on the clock, Tullahoma attempted a last-second 3-pointer. Austin Secrest took that shot for the Wildcats, but it fell short of the mark, and the Red Raiders celebrated on Tullahoma’s home court.
Early on against Tullahoma, Coffee County found itself in a back-and-forth opening quarter, a period that saw four lead changes. With 2:46 left in the first quarter, Rod Brinkley knocked down a shot that put the Red Raiders in front 10-9.
From there Coffee County ended the first period on a 4-1 run, taking a 14-10 advantage into the second quarter. Brinkley and Vaughn connected on the final two baskets of the opening period for the Red Raiders.
Tullahoma opened the second quarter with back-to-back baskets, evening the score at 14. Krys Uselton and Ben Fulton each hit a shot for the Wildcats.
The Red Raiders began to pull away from Tullahoma at that point, as Coffee County outscored the Wildcats 10-2 the remainder of the first half. C.J. Anthony netted four points during that run for the Red Raiders, while Kyle Farless knocked down a 3-pointer.
Connor Shemwell added another basket for Coffee County, while Vaughn hit a free throw, helping give their team a 24-16 halftime advantage.
That momentum continued for the Red Raiders in the second half, as they started the period on a 14-4 run. Wooten led Coffee County during that stretch as he connected on a pair of 3-pointers, including one with 2:38 remaining in the third quarter, which put his team ahead 38-20.
Tullahoma went on to score five of the final seven points in the third quarter, trimming its deficit down to 40-25. Ryan Scott knocked down a shot, before Secrest added a 3-pointer before the third quarter concluded for the Wildcats.
Despite some early made shots from Tullahoma in the fourth quarter, the Red Raiders still held a 48-37 lead with 3:06 left in the contest. That changed quickly, as the Wildcats rallied for a 15-3 run in order to take a 52-51 advantage with 21 seconds left in the period.
Uselton first hit a 3-pointer, before adding another basket for the Wildcats, cutting his team’s deficit to 48-42 with 2:31 remaining in the matchup. Wooten added a free-throw for Coffee County, but Joe Duncan and Uselton each added two more points for Tullahoma, cutting the score to 49-46 with 1:39 left on the clock.
Duncan went on to score six-straight points for the Wildcats, including one to put his team in front 52-51. It wouldn’t be enough though, as Vaughn hit the eventual game-winner in the final seconds to secure the win for Coffee County.
Ben Fulton led the scoring for Tullahoma, as he finished with 11 points. Duncan and Uselton also added double figures, as each player netted 10 points.
Secrest put up nine points for the Wildcats, while Jake Hollandsworth scored six points. Scott added four points, while Will Partin rounded out the scoring for Tullahoma.
The Wildcats (9-12, 4-2) were scheduled to head to Franklin County on Friday. However, as of press time, the result of that game was unavailable.
Tullahoma will next host Lincoln County on Tuesday. Tipoff if scheduled for roughly 7:30 p.m.