Just three days after picking up their fifth win of the season and their second victory in three contests, the Moore County High School boys basketball team got a huge dose of reality.
The Raiders were trounced at Fayetteville City 80-39 on Tuesday night as the Tigers sent notice that they were neither Grundy County nor Tullahoma. And in fact, thanks to Forrest’s upset over Middle Tennessee Christian School on the same night, the Tigers (12-6 overall, 7-1 District 9-A) could be ready to challenge for the District 9-A title.
The reality is that the Raiders (5-15, 1-6) are mired well back in fifth place. While that’s just one spot away from the top four, the fourth-place Rockets are a solid 3 1/2 games ahead of Moore County. With seven regular season games left and five conference games, there’s still room for advancement, but Forrest appears to have the more favorable schedule down the stretch.
That leaves Moore County simply scratching for wins as the season winds down. The Raiders will start that hunt on Friday night as they host Huntland, one of the teams they’ve beaten this year.
A rematch against Forrest on the road and two games against Eagleville, which is winless in conference play, do offer a glimmer of hope for Moore County as they prepare to close out the season.
On Tuesday night, the Raiders hoped to build on a Saturday’s 64-51 win over Tullahoma and perhaps upset the Tigers after letting them escape with a last-second win in Lynchburg back in Dec. 6. But the speedy Tigers had other plans and Moore County’s defense was simply not up to the task of slowing them down.
On Saturday against Tullahoma, Moore County managed to win its second of three games played in January. The Raiders started hot with a 26-point opening period before taking a 42-35 halftime lead. Thanks to a 20-point effort from junior Ryan Northcutt, Moore County was able to hold off the winless Wildcats down the stretch.
Blydge Farrar added 14 points for Moore County and Cole Boyce tallied 10.
The Raiders were coming off of a 76-54 district loss to Community.
On Friday night in Lynchburg, the visiting Vikings (12-7, 6-2) got a quick start, aided by 14 first-half points from Blake Fanning. Fanning finished with 16 in the game, while teammate Luke Primm led all scorers with 22.
Northcutt tried to keep Moore County close as he knocked down four three-pointers to finish with 19 points on the night. Farrar scored 13.
The Vikings outscored Moore County in every quarter and led 42-26 at halftime.
Moore County will host Huntland this Friday night and Lincoln County on Saturday night before traveling to Forrest on Jan. 21.