Raiderettes look to secure district top spot in final home game against Huntland

Junior Madison Dingler made two from the line in double overtime to help Moore County edge Huntland 46-43 in Franklin County on January 24. (Photo Courtesy of Jeff Reed)

By Tabitha Evans MooreEDITOR & PUBLISHER

It took two overtimes, a 28-point game from Ellie Graham, and pair of crucial free throws from Madison Dingler in the final seconds to beat them last time, and Friday’s District 9A rematch between the Raiderettes and their rivals the Lady Hornets promises to be just as dramatic. Moore County will face off with Huntland for the second game of the regular season on Friday in Lynchburg. Tip off happens at 6 p.m.

On January 24, the Raiderettes traveled to Franklin County and earned a narrow 46-43 win. In that game, Lady Hornet Bailey Morris drained a trey with a little over a minute to play – tying the game and sending it into overtime, 36-36. Each team managed just four points each in the first overtime – ending it knotted again at 40-40. In the second overtime period, Huntland pulled within one with less than a minute to play. The Lady Hornets then fouled Madison Dingler with less than 10 seconds to play. She swished both from the line to seal the win. {To read our complete coverage of that game, click here.}

This Friday promises to be just as dramatic. Huntland will buzz into Moore County looking for a little payback for the January 24 loss and the Raiderettes will be playing to secure the district top spot before heading into the Class 1A, District 9 Girls Basketball Tournament held at Eagleville High School next week.

Here are a few things to watch for this Friday against Huntland:

1 | A Graham double team – Junior Ellie Graham put up 28 points against Huntland on January 24, and the Lady Hornet coaching staff will look for ways to neutralize her on Friday. Look for the them to double team or try nudge her into foul trouble early.

2 | Key points from the line – Speaking of fouls, the TSSAA new foul rules for high school basketball will likely come into play down the stretch and into the post-season. In the 2023-24 season, any team with five fouls in any period automatically sends the opposing team into “the bonus” and to the line for two shots. Refs no longer award a one-and-one penalty. Last Friday’s loss against Fayetteville could have been won at the free throw line. On Friday, the gals in Columbia blue need to both stay out of foul trouble and make the majority of their shots from the line.

3 | Depth from the bench – One of the bright spots of the last four games is the depth of the Raiderettes’ squad. Should Moore County’s starters get into foul trouble, look for Hannah Martin, Bella Tucker, Ella Burks, Caroline Parker, Emma Sazonov, and Emily Burks to come off the bench and make an impact. Also, now that their season is over, eighth graders Alexus Hornaday, Valerie Riviera, Ellie Carter, and Harley Hart have been added to the roster, and will get an opportunity to make an impact.

4 | No seniors on Senior Night – It will be senior night on Friday night in Lynchburg. Interestingly, this year’s Raiderette team does not boast a single senior. It’s entirely junior led and multiples players seeing playing time since their freshman year.

5 | A battle between Graham and May – This will be Huntland senior Jocy May’s last regular season match up against Moore County. She and her Moore County doppelganger Ellie Graham have been matching up against each other for the past three years and it’s often a battle. Look for her to try and be a difference maker on Friday.

6 | Have dinner with the Raider Baseball team – Baseball season is right around the corner and on Friday, the Moore County Raider Baseball squad will host their annual Chili Supper prior to the girl’s game. They will serve chili, and drink in the MCHS Cafeteria beginning at 4:30 p.m. before the game and from the concession stand during the game. It’s just $5 a bowl and all proceed benefit the team.

If you can’t attend Friday in person, the Moore County Sports Broadcasting Team will live stream the game on the NFHS NetworkThe Times will also live blog the action on our Facebook page. •

{Community newspapers like The Lynchburg Times serve an important roll to high school athletes. Players use links to our articles in college applications and the TSSAA keeps up with Moore County star athletes through our coverage. That leads to more awards and recognition. Please consider supporting our work by subscribing. Click this link to sign up.}