CHAPEL HILL, Tenn. — After a dismal 0-12 run through their District 9-A regular-season schedule, the Moore County boys basketball team finally snapped its losing skid that’s stretched some 21 games dating back to Nov. 25.
The Raiders kept their season alive by topping Forrest 59-54 in overtime in Chapel Hill on Saturday in the first game of the District 9-A tournament. Moore County (4-23) got key free throws late in the contest from Clay Burnett to seal the victory.
By winning the play-in game, which pitted the tournament’s No. 6 seed (Forrest) against the No. 7 seed (MCHS), the Raiders advanced to play No. 3 seed Community on Tuesday night.
Community won both matchups against Moore County earlier this season, winning by seven points on Dec. 18 and then drubbing the Raiders by 29 on Jan. 26 while holding them to a season-low 19 points.
The win over Forrest (5-23), whose only two district wins came against Moore County, was a much-needed boost for a Raiders team with seven seniors. And it came just two days after the Raiders turned in a strong performance against state-ranked Cascade on Senior Night.
Moore County fell to Cascade 59-53 on Feb. 11 in the regular-season finale in Lynchburg. Before the game, MCHS seniors Danny Diaz, Montana Driver, Jay Layman, Will Slatten, Andy Huffer, Spencer Reese and Lee Huffer were honored. Lee Huffer, who suffered a foot injury during the first week of the season and missed the remainder of the year, got an honorary start in the contest.
It was Will Slatten who led the way for MCHS against the Champions with a team-high 15 points. Layman added 11 and Burnett chipped in eight. Driver and Julius Dixon netted six apiece, while Diaz, Andy Huffer and Reese scored two each. Stone Frost added one point.
The boys District 9-A tournament rolls on this week, with semifinal games scheduled for Friday night. The boys consolation game and championship game will be played Monday night in Chapel Hill.