Raiderettes beat Huntland in dramatic final seconds

Moore County Raiderettes post player Ellie Graham
Ellie Graham squares up to hit the game winning free throw in Huntland on Friday night. She led with 20 points. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

HUNTLAND, Tenn. — It was quite frankly the most dramatic ending to a Raiderettes, Huntland rivalry game in recent memory.

With 44 seconds remaining in the game, the Lady Hornets inbounded the ball to Jocy May, who stepped back and drained the 3-point shot to tie the game at 35-35. Moore County’s Coach Spencer immediately called time out. Then, out of the break, Moore County turned the ball over and the Lady Hornets headed back down the floor with 26 seconds now on the clock.

The Lady Hornet point guard, Aysia Williams, looked over at her coach, who held up one lone finger. One shot, that’s all it would take. Williams immediately passed to Logan McLennon, who ran from her spot behind the perimeter to slightly inside it down the left side of the court. She made the fade away jumper for two points to give the Lady Hornets a 37-35 lead with two seconds remaining. The royal blue side of the crowd erupted and Coach Spencer, again, immediately called a time out with two seconds on the clock.

The clock operator; however, unintentionally left the clock running despite the awarded time out. As the Huntland squad gathered in front of their bench celebrating, the three referees pow wowed. When they emerged, they directed the clock operator to place 1.5 seconds back on the clock.

Down by two, Maecy Fletcher made a drop-back, football-style pass down court to Ellie Graham, who got the ball behind the perimeter line, and got absolutely mauled. Multiple whistles rang out. With no time left on the game clock, Graham headed to the line for not one, not two, but three free throws. The first shot hugged the right side of the rim and dropped. The Raiderettes now trailed by one. Her second shot was nothing but net – tie ballgame. Graham took a deep exhale, shot, and the ball did a jig around the rim before dropping to give Moore County the 38-37 victory. Graham shrugged and coolly walked off as her teammates engulfed her.

Graham and Logan combine for all 17 Moore County first half points

The first half of the game belonged to Graham and Paisley Logan, who combined for all 17 of the Raiderettes first half points. Logan swished the first Moore Count points of the game with a 3-point shot around the six minute mark and then followed with a second trey on the very next possession. Graham scored eight more in the first to give the Raiderettes a 12-6 lead at the end of the first eight minutes.

Moore County’s defense turned up the heat in the second period – holding the Lady Hornets to just four points. Logan, in particular had a great first half both offensively and defensively. She scored three treys for nine points in addition to playing smart, heads up defense. She drew a charge, blocked a shot, and fought for multiple rebounds. Moore County went into the break leading 17-10.

Lady Hornets attempt a second half comeback

Senior Paisley Logan drives for a basket on Friday. She and Graham combined for all but four of the Raiderettes points. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

After trading turnovers, Huntland scored the first points of the third period when May dished to Tareli Avalos down low to make it 17-12. Moore County missed their next shot and Huntland rebounded and dribbled down court to set up their play. Maecy Fletcher stood straight up, feet planted to block the shot from Avalos but got the foul. Avalos hit both her shots from the line to make it a three point game. Around a minute later, May drove down the right side for a layup to make it a one-point game with a little over five minutes to play in the third.

Moore County then went on a 10 point run with another trey from Logan, a basket by Katy Fletcher, and a basket and two from the line from Graham to make it 27-16. Avalos hit a jumper with 33 seconds remaining to make it 27-18 at the end of the third period.

Huntland dialed up the defensive pressure and used May and Avalos offensively to attempt a come back in the fourth period. The Raiderettes fouled May on the Lady Hornets first possession. She made both to make it 27-20. Graham answered with a jumper through a double team for two more Raiderettes points. Then Logan McLennon – who scored her 1000th point during the Moore County game – shot back-to-back treys to get the Lady Hornets within four, 29-25. Lady Hornet Kinsley Kilpatrick then snagged a cross court Raiderettes pass for the steal. Her layup put Huntland within two.

Huntland played aggressive for the next five minutes – sending Moore County to the line for five points: two by Maecy Fletcher and the final three by Graham before going on a five points run to get within three points. With a little over two minutes to play, it was a two point game.

Ellie Graham led with 20 points

Ellie Graham led for the Raiderettes with 20 points followed by Paisley Logan with 14 points. Katy Fletcher added a basket and Maecy Fletcher added two from the line. Jocy May led for Huntland with 14 points followed by Yareli Avalos with 13 points.

Moore County shot 18 points from the floor and another 12 from the perimeter. They shot eight of 12 from the line (67 percent). Huntland shot 16 points from the floor and nine from the 3-point line. They were 12 of 18 (72 percent) from the charity stripe.

Moore County (3-2) now sits behind the Lady Hornets (4-2) in the District 9A standings with rematches against district foes on the horizon. The play at Fayettevile next Tuesday and at Eagleville next Friday before playing the final regular season game against Cornersville at home on February 7. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently-owned, community newspaper located in Lynchburg, Tennessee the home of The Jack Daniel Distillery. We focus on public service, non-partisan, rural journalism. We cover the Metro Moore County government, local tourism, Moore County schools, high school sports, Motlow State Community College, as well as whiskey industry news and regional and state stories that affect our readers.}