After getting back on track with a District 9-A victory over Huntland on Friday night, the season of near misses continued its ugly trend on Saturday night for the Moore County Raiders and then carried over to Tuesday night.
Hosting Huntland on Friday, Moore County turned back the Hornets 58-50 to earn just their second district win of the season. The Raiders had to rally from a 28-23 halftime deficit.
They also had to withstand a 25-point effort from Huntland’s Kobe Foster, who, along with teammate Aaron Williams, shouldered most of the load for the Hornets. But Moore County managed to hold Foster to just a single field goal over the final eight minutes, and after trailing 43-41 heading into the final frame, the hosts were able to make a run.
Moore County outscored Huntland 17-7 in the fourth period to surge ahead. Most of the damage came at the free throw line, where MCHS scored 10 points down the stretch. Ironically, however, had the Raiders done a better job at the charity stripe — they missed eight free throws in the fourth quarter — they could have easily put the Hornets away earlier.
Ryan Northcutt paced three double-digit scorers for Moore County with 16 points. Blydge Farrar added 13 and Dillon Davis netted 10. James Dougherty chipped in eight.
On Saturday, the Raiders hosted a struggling Lincoln County squad. Lincoln County’s Keller Monks had a pair of buzzer beaters — one at halftime and a tip-in at the end of the game — that doomed the Raiders.
It was a follow-up tip-in by Monks as time expired in the contest that allowed the Falcons to escape with a 47-45 win. It marked the fourth time this season that Moore County has lost a contest by seven points or less and the second time that the Raiders have lost on a last-second shot.
Monks was simply in the right place at the right time. With the game knotted at 45-all, Lincoln County inbounded the ball with 4.5 seconds remaining. The initial shot by the Falcons was off the mark, but Keller alertly tipped it in at the horn.
Despite leading by nine in the second quarter and by seven points, 26-19, at the half, Moore County couldn’t maintain the lead. Lincoln County outscored the Raiders 20-9 in the third quarter to make a game of it, and it was a back-and-forth battle in the final period. With 4:01 remaining, Moore County went back in front 43-41.
Davis led Moore County with 15 points, while Northcutt had 11. The Raiders were just 1-of-10 from beyond the three-point arc.
On Tuesday, the Raiders needed a win over Forrest to have any chance to climb into the top half of the district standings by season’s end. But after leading 8-5 early, the Raiders fell behind 23-18 at the half and couldn’t stay close enough in the second half.
At Chapel Hill, Moore County suffered a 51-39 loss. Cole Boyce and Northcutt tallied 10 points each for the Raiders and Davis finished with nine.
The loss leaves Moore County (7-17, 2-7) in fifth place in the district with three district games remaining. The Raiders won’t be able to improve their standing heading into the league tournament, as Forrest is in fourth with a 6-3 record in league play.
Moore County hosts Eagleville on Friday and will play at Middle Tennessee Christian School on Tuesday night.