Raiderettes bounce back against Cannon County

Raiderettes Ellie Graham (left) and Madison Dingler (right)
Ellie Graham (#20) and Madison Dingler (#22) combined for 27 points against Cannon County. Graham led with 14 points and Dingler followed with 13 points. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — It is rare that a high school basketball team holds an opponent to less than 20 points in the first half but that’s exactly what the Moore County Raiderettes have done twice so far this season. On January 18, the Moore County defense shut out Eagleville in the first period and held them to just 10 first half points. Last night, following a disappointing performance in Cornersville last Friday, they did it again – holding the AA Cannon County Lions scoreless in the first period and allowed seven … yes, seven … first half points.

It was the first and only scheduled meeting for the two teams during the 2022-23 season though the game’s become a annual non-district rivalry since Coach Spencer took over the program. Moore County lost in Cannon County 52-45 last December and won at home against the Lions on January 4 by a 60-54 margin.

Moore County (14-9, 2-2) came into Monday’s game fresh off a disappointing 53-40 loss at Cornerville. Cannon County (12-6, 3-0) came into the game following a narrow, one-point road win against Westmoreland.

Raiderettes ‘Shock and Awe’ defense

We’re not sure exactly what defensive schemes Coach Spencer’s cooking up there on the Raiderettes sideline but they seem to baffle and frustrate opponents. Moore County came out in a zone defense, while Cannon County opted for man-to-man and the results weren’t as expected. Moore County swished multiple threes from the perimeter in the first period while sealing the inside lanes – forcing Lion shooters to the perimeter. Cannon County’s first four shots from the 3-point line were misses.

Offensively, Katy Fletcher got Moore County on the board first with a nothing-but-net 3-point shot. Cannon County’s Anaston Holt attempted to answer with her own perimeter shot but it bounced off the rim and into the waiting hands of Ellie Graham. The two teams traded missed shots, then Maecy Fletcher drained one from the perimeter to make is 6-0.

The two teams traded turnovers for the next several minutes, then with a little over a minute to play in the period, Madison Dingler swished a three to give Moore County at 9-0 lead. With 23 second to play in the first, a Lion fouled Graham on her layup attempt – sending her to the line. She hit one of two. Cannon County got the rebound and headed down court for a chance at a first period score but as the Lion’s Abi Alexander teed up a three, Graham swooped in with the block. At the end of the first, it was Moore County 10, Cannon County 0.

Cannon County got on the boards in the first minute of the second period when Alexander dished down low to a wide open Jenna Bush. The Lions got a steal on the next play with a bad pass into traffic and attempted to run the same – this time drawing the on-the-floor foul. They couldn’t turn the second chance into points. The Raiderettes went down the floor and set up the play, which resulted in a 3-point shot from Graham to make it 13-2 with around six minutes to play in the half. The Lions missed another trey, then fouled Paisley Logan on the Raiderettes next possession. She made both from the line.

Following a time out, Cannon County found the same play – perimeter shooter to inside post – for two points then fouled Maecy Fletcher on the following Raiderettes possession. She made one of two from the line. Then with a little over three minutes left in the half, the Lion persistence at the perimeter paid off and Addie King banked one for three points to make 16-7. Maecy Fletcher immediately answered with a shot underneath while drawing the “and one” foul. She missed from the line.

Cannon County turned the ball over on their next play, then Dingler swished another trey for the final Moore County points of the half. At the break, Moore County led Cannon County 21-7.

Chippy second half

Cannon County switched to an aggressive press defense in the third period, which resulted in a bit of a chippy second half and showed in the foul count. The Lions committed 13 team fouls in the second half – sending Raiderettes to the line 10 times. Unfortunately, the Raiderettes shot 12 of 24 (50 percent) from the line during the game. Luckily the Lions free throw performance looked worse – hitting just five of 14 (36 percent).

Moore County ran into a bit of their own foul trouble in the third period with starters Katy Fletcher and Maecy Fletcher headed to the bench in foul trouble. Moore County outscored Cannon County by two points in the third off points by Logan, Audrey Harder, Graham, and Dingler. At the end of the third, the Raiderettes continued to lead 32-16. The Lions attempted a come back in the fourth but it wasn’t nearly enough. Despite the fact that they outscored Moore County by six point in the final stanza, the Raiderettes walked away with the 50-40 win.

Ellie Graham led for Moore County on Monday with 14 points followed closely by Madison Dingler with 13. Paisley Logan added another 11 points. Moore County’s Sister Act, Maecy (6) and Katy (4) Fletcher, combined for 10 points and Audrey Harder added two more.

The Raiderettes scored 20 from the floor and 18 from the perimeter as compared to the Lions who shot 20 from the floor and 15

Now the question becomes, which Raiderette’s team will show up on Friday in Huntland for a crucial district match up. Moore County dominated against ranked Eagleville on January 17 in a 61-40 win and lost to winless-in-District-9A-play Cornersville the following Friday 53-40 in an uncharacteristically sloppy, frustrating game. The Lady Hornets currently sit spotless in District 9A with a perfect 4-0 record, though they play in Cornersville on Tuesday night.

Tip off in Huntland takes place at 6 p.m. •

{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.}