Eagles outlast Raiders in district tourney game

Eagles outlast Raiders in district tourney game

By Tabitha Evans Moore, EDITOR & PUBLISHER

The Raiders put up a heck of a fight on Wednesday in the District 9A Tournament – despite the fact that the Eagles beat them by double digits in both regulars season games. Moore County lost 75-59 in Lynchburg in January 5 and again at Eagleville 77-40 on January 26.

In their first District 9A tourney game, the Raiders stuck with the boys in maroon for three periods before the Eagles finally pulled ahead in the fourth period.

Raiders trail by two at the half

Moore County jumped out to an early 12-9 lead over the Eagles in the first period thanks to points by Alex Copeland, Dawson White, and Peyton Martin.

The Eagles got on the boards first thanks to a left sider jump shot by Camden Cole. Cole would eventually score seven of Eagelville nine first period points. Martin answered with his own right side bucket to tie the game, 2-2. Cole went back up for two on the next Eagles possession – drawing but missing the “and one” foul.

The two teams traded turnovers, then C.J. Goers snagged a rebound and put the ball back up to build the Eagles lead to four, 6-2.

The Eagles sent Copeland to the line on the next Raider possession, and he made one of two. The Eagles then missed a trey, and Gavin Wise snagged the rebound. He dribbled down court and fed the ball to Dawson White who drew the foul. He made both to cut the Eagles’ lead to one, 6-5.

A Copeland jump shot at the 3:38 mark gave Moore County the lead. He added an explanation point with a trey on the next possession to build the lead to four, 10-6. Cole answered with his own trey to make it a one point game, 10-9.

A left basket by Martin at the 1:10 mark closed out the first period scoring. 12-9. The Raiders led by three at the end of the first eight minutes.

The Eagles fought back in the second period putting up 21 points while holding Moore County to just 14. Eagle perimeter shooters missed in the first period, but found their groove in the second. Twelve of their 21 second period points came from behind the three-point line. Both Matthew White and Sawyer Parks came off the bench and contributed in the second period.

Eagles outscore Raiders in second half to secure the win

Moore County paced Eagleville in the third period to pull within three points going into the fourth quarter.

The Eagles came our swinging with a trey. Martin answered two possessions later with points inside and went right back up on the next possession for back-to-back baskets, 33-30. Moore County then used scores by Copeland, Dawson White, and Wes Clifton to match the Eagles pretty much point-for-point. At the end of the third, it was Moore County 39, Eagleville 44.

The Eagles slowing began to pull away in the fourth period. Moore County never earned back the lead. At the final buzzer, Moore County fell to Eagleville 58-49 – sending the Eagles into the District 9A Championship game.

Senior Alex Copeland led for Moore County with 20 points followed by Peyton Martin with 11. Other contributing Raiders were: Dawson White (6), Wes Clifton (5), Sawyer Parks (4), Matthew White (2), and Gavin Wise (1).

The Raiders will move on to a District 9A consolation game against Huntland on Saturday at 6 p.m. at District 9A Tournament host Eagleville. Huntland fell to Fayetteville on February 14 by a final score of 54-50. On Saturday, Moore County versus Huntland will tip off at 6 p.m. and the Championship game will follow at 7:30 p.m. between Eagelville and Fayetteville.

If you can’t travel to Rutherford County to support the Raiders on Saturday, you can watch the action live on the NFHS Network or The Times will post live score updates on our Facebook page.

All four District 9A teams will advance to a TSSAA Class 1A East Regional Quarterfinal game next week. You can view the official bracket by clicking here. •

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