LYNCHBURG – With a pair of wins last week, the Moore County Raiders inched closer to a top-three seeding in the District 9-A tournament.
Moore County’s boys outlasted Forrest 45-43 at home last Tuesday and then topped Eagleville on the road 52-35 Friday night.
The Raiders (13-11 overall, 7-2 District 9-A) climbed all the way into sole possession of second place in the 9-A standings, a half game ahead of Middle Tennessee Christian School. MTCS (10-12, 6-3) had its game against Huntland postponed last week after the Hornets bus was burglarized during a stop in Manchester.
Their game has been reset for Feb. 2. In the meantime, Moore County was slated to host MTCS on Tuesday night in a game that will likely decide the No. 2 seed in the upcoming conference tournament. Moore County lost to the Cougars 67-59 in Murfreesboro back on Dec. 19.
The Raiders will head to Cornersville for a 7:15 p.m. contest on Thursday night this week.
Moore County has played well as of late, with a five-point loss at Lincoln County on Jan. 17 as the team’s only blip since returning from a three-game stint in Florida after Christmas. Heading into Tuesday’s game against MTCS, the loss to the Falcons was Moore County’s only loss in 2015.
The Raiders won seven of eight games to turn their season around. That continued with last week’s victories.
Moore County 52, Eagleville 35
At Eagleville, the Raiders slowly extended a 25-17 halftime lead in the second half with a balanced scoring effort in the third period. Five MCHS players scored to help the Raiders build a 37-24 lead heading into the final frame.
Moore County then managed to handle pressure from the Eagles who struggle to get a defensive stop when they needed. Jordan Barrier scored four in the period to go along with three free throws from Will Slatten, as the Raiders again had six players scratch the scorebook.
Senior Ryan Northcutt led the assault with a game-high 17 points, including a pair of treys. Jay Layman added nine, while James Dougherty and Barrier chipped in six each. Slatten (5), Blydge Farrar (4), Doran Noble (3) and Montana Driver completed the scoring for Moore County.
Moore County 45, Forrest 43
The Raiders needed a 20-point fourth quarter to stave off Forrest’s upset bid. With Ryan Northcutt limited to just four points, Moore County spread the offense around. After a defensive third period in which the Rockets outscored MCHS 6-4, both offenses picked up in the final eight minutes.
Moore County got three-pointers from Blydge Farrar and Northcutt and went 8-of-10 from the free throw line to hold off the Rockets down the stretch.
The Raiders also had to withstand the hot shooting of Forrest’s Will Edmonson and Donovan Murray, who combined for five three-pointers and had 17 and 15 points, respectively.
Dougherty scored eight points to pace MCHS. Slatten, Noble and Barrier scored seven apiece and Farrar finished with five. Northcutt (4), Lee Huffer (4) and Layman (3) wrapped up the Raiders’ scoring.