Midway through the second quarter of the boys game, Coffee County grabbed the edge over Tullahoma, and the Wildcats could never get back in front, losing a 45-42 home matchup on Tuesday.
Coffee County led 7-6 at the end of the first quarter, but Quintin Howard knocked down three-straight 3-pointers for Tullahoma, giving the Wildcats a 15-11 edge with 4:50 remaining in the period.
However, the Red Raiders responded by scoring 10-straight points, taking a 21-15 advantage with 1:22 left in the first half.
Austin Secrest added a basket and a free throw for Tullahoma, cutting the Wildcats’ deficit down to 21-18 with 1:08 remaining in the second quarter. But Jaxon Vaughn added a basket for Coffee County just before the break, giving his team a 23-18 lead at halftime.
Out of the break, Coffee County controlled the first half of the third quarter, building a 31-22 advantage with 4:15 remaining in the period. Tullahoma chipped into its deficit, going on an 11-4 run to close out the period, trailing 35-33 entering the final period of play.
Secrest put up six points for the Wildcats in that third-quarter stretch. Jake Hollandsworth and Sam Brock each added a basket of their own during that run, while Corvion Fields hit a free throw for Tullahoma.
In the fourth quarter, Coffee County netted five of the first seven points in the period, opening up a 40-35 advantage with 2:39 remaining in the contest. Howard hit a basket for Tullahoma, cutting the score to 40-37 left on the clock.
Darius Rozier followed with three-straight free throws for Coffee County, increasing his team’s advantage to 43-37 with 41 seconds left in the period. Brock added a basket for Tullahoma, but again Rozier hit a pair of free throws, increasing the Raiders’ lead to 45-39 with 16.4 seconds remaining on the clock.
Hollandsworth followed with a quick 3-pointer for Tullahoma with 9 seconds left on the clock, cutting the Wildcats’ deficit to 45-42. On the ensuing inbounds play, Coffee County was called for an offensive foul, giving Tullahoma one final possession.
However, the Red Raider defense suffocated the Wildcat shooters, as Secrest’s shot attempt fell short, and Coffee County held on for the victory.
With the loss, Tullahoma drops to 4-12 on the season and 1-3 against District 8-AAA opponents. The Wildcats will next travel to Columbia on Friday night, before heading to Lynchburg to face Moore County on Saturday. On both days, start time of the girls game is slated for 6 p.m. with the boys taking the floor 15 minutes after that contest concludes.