LYNCHBURG — In the latest Associated Press Class A girls basketball poll released this week, District 9-A was represented by two teams — Community at No. 7 and Middle Tennessee Christian School at No. 8.
The Moore County High School girls (15-10 overall, 4-7 District 9-A) took the Viqeens (17-6, 11-0) into three overtimes before falling 67-62 back on Jan. 9.
On Tuesday night in Lynchburg, the Raiderettes had the Lady Cougars (20-3, 7-3) on the ropes, but let head coach Lynn Burkey’s team sneak out of Lynchburg with a 54-53 victory. The loss dropped MCHS to fifth in what is arguably one of the toughest Class A districts in the state.
Forrest, which slipped by Fayetteville (5-15, 1-10) on Tuesday night, hosts Huntland (13-7, 7-3) this Friday, while Moore County hosts Eagleville (12-12, 2-8) on Feb. 3. Regardless of the outcome of either of those two game, Moore County and Forrest will finish fourth and fifth — it’s just not certain which team will be which. Either way, they will face each other when the league tournament begins in Eagleville on Feb. 9.
Community is locked in at No. 1 in the league and will get a first-round bye — and a free pass to the region tournament — while Huntland and MTCS will play either Eagleville or Fayetteville.
Two weeks ago Moore County head coach Bruce Slatten said he felt like the district was pretty balanced, not just from second to sixth, but from first all the way down to seventh. The Raiderettes’ solid play against the league’s top teams, combined with a lackluster effort in a loss at Eagleville seems to back up Slatten’s opinion. The top six teams are all .500 or better overall, with none of the top four teams have more than seven losses.
In Lynchburg on Tuesday night, Moore County had MTCS all but knocked out, but two turnovers in the final 90 seconds erased a two-point Moore County lead. The Cougars then missed a free throw with 5.6 seconds left giving Moore County one last chance. Raiderettes freshman Katie Thomas had the ball with one player to beat and was barreling toward her own goal and a potential game-winning basket when Slatten called a timeout with 2.3 seconds remaining. Out of the timeout, Moore County ran a play for Thomas with a back screen opposite the ball, and though she caught the pass, she wasn’t able to get a good look at the rim and her shot was off the mark.
Thomas finished with 14 points for the Raiderettes, while Kursten Hawkins netted 23. Makayla Ray scored eight, Kinsley Logan had six and Taylor LaCook chipped in two.
Middle Tennessee Christian still has to play Community and Huntland and could wrap up the second spot in the standings with a win over the Lady Hornets.
Moore County, which has lost six of its last nine contests, travels to non-district foe Cornersville on Thursday night and will host Eagleville on Feb. 3 and Grundy County on Feb. 5 to close out the regular season.
—Robert Holman, Editor & Publisher (firstname.lastname@example.org) Follow on Twitter: @TheMooreCoNews