UNIONVILLE, Tenn. – After a 31-point loss in the District 9-A opener to Community back on Dec. 2, the Moore County girls basketball team needed to make a statement when the two teams squared off Friday night in Unionville.
The Raiderettes were able to send a message to the rest of the district: they’re much improved since the first outing. Unfortunately, Moore County’s girls still left Unionville on a losing note following a 67-62 triple-overtime thriller that went the way of the Viqueens in the end.
Despite a much more balanced scoring attack — four MCHS players were in double figures — and a better defensive effort, Moore County’s five-point loss left the Raiderettes at 2-4 in district play and in fifth place as they prepared to host Fayetteville City on Tuesday night.
Last Friday, however, the Raiderettes had a golden opportunity to hand league-leading Community its first district loss, but couldn’t close the game out after leading 28-19 at halftime.
Despite trailing for practically the entire contest, Moore County led for most of the game, but the Viqueens managed to extend the game twice with a clutch three-pointer and free throws. Though the hosts led briefly in the opening quarter, Moore County ended the quarter with a 12-10 lead. The Viqueens would not lead again for the rest of regulation play.
The Raiderettes took a nine-point lead to the lockerroom at the half thanks to a three-pointer by Makayla Ray at the buzzer, giving MCHS its biggest lead.
In the third period, Moore County had trouble slowing down Community’s Lacey Reed, who scored all 10 of the Viqueens’ points in the period. Still, Moore County led 37-29 heading to the final frame.
Then the hosts rallied, slowly chipping away at the lead until they pulled to within one point, 45-44, with 51 seconds remaining. Two free throws by freshman Kursten Hawkins extended the lead to three points with nine seconds left.
But with no timeouts, Community pushed the ball up the court and got a long game-tying three-pointer from Sarah Pierce to force overtime.
It was Hawkins who sent the game into the second OT, with a drive and bucket in the paint, tying the contest at 55-all with three ticks left. Hawkins was at the line with a chance to ice the contest in the second overtime. She made one free throw to give MCHS a two-point lead, but misfired on the second free throw.
A foul on the rebound gave Community new life and a chance to extend the game. Community’s Alyssa Freeman took advantage and made a pair of free throws, sending the game to the third overtime.
The Viqueens were able to distance themselves in the third extra period, thanks in part to Reed, who scored 24 points after intermission to finish with a game-high 28.
Hawkins led Moore County with 22, while Ray and Katie Thomas added 12 each and Kinsley Logan netted 10.
Moore County (13-6, 2-4) started 2015 out with a victory over Grundy County in Coalmont on Jan. 6. The Raiderettes topped the Yellow Jackets 60-48.
MCHS plays at Huntland this Friday night and will travel to Lincoln County on Saturday night.
—By ROBERT HOLMAN, editor & publisher (firstname.lastname@example.org) follow on Twitter: @TheMooreCoNews