EAGLEVILLE — The Moore County Raiderettes earned a right to play for a TSSAA Class A State Tournament berth, albeit the hard way.
Moore County turned back district rival Forrest 52-35 Monday night in a physical, hard-fought contest in the Region 5-A semifinals. The Raiderettes were scheduled to play Nashville Christian Wednesday night at Eagleville in the 5-A championship game.
Regardless of Wednesday’s outcome, however, Monday’s victory guarantees that the Raiderettes will play in their fourth straight Class A Sectional contest. Wednesday’s game simply determines the opponent and the location.
A Moore County win on Wednesday would pit the Raiderettes against the Summertown/Collinwood loser and would likely be played at Eagleville, although Moore County would be considered the host. A loss would send the Raiderettes on the road to play the Summertown/Collinwood winner.
In the Region 6-A Tournament at Richland High School, Summertown (27-3) crushed Loretto 46-26, while Collinwood (23-6) nipped Wayne County 28-26.
Monday night at Eagleville, the Raiderettes had to fend off a physical Lady Rockets’ squad that took advantage of an officiating crew that simply let ‘em play through the first three quarters. Despite 38 fouls whistled in the contest — 27 against Forrest — it was the handful that weren’t called that forced the Raiderettes to be a bit more resilient.
“It’s tournament basketball and a lot of times that’s just the way it is,” said Moore County head coach Bruce Slatton. “They think they gotta make you earn it. It was rough at times … a little too rough. Sometimes (officials) think they’re college kids and they’re not. They’re 15-, 16- and 17-year-old kids.”
After a slow start, during which Forrest (16-18) took an early lead, Moore County got a workmanlike performance from Class A Miss Basketball finalist Sarah Raby. Raby had just eight points at halftime, but added 19 after the break to lead all scorers with 27. She scored 13 in the fourth quarter as the Raiderettes closed the door on the Lady Rockets.
Raby scored seven of Moore County’s first nine points in the final period and then scored six straight during a 70-second stretch late in the period to help MCHS pull away.
Read the complete story in the Feb. 28 print edition of The Moore County News. (Click here to subscribe to the print or online edition of The Moore County News)
By ROBERT HOLMAN (Robert Holman is the editor of the Moore County News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)