Raiderettes mount second half comeback to defeat Greenfield 38-28 in Class 1A Semifinal

Raiderettes mount second half comeback to defeat Greenfield 38-28 in Class 1A Semifinal
Junior Emma Sazonov (#15) came off the bench and swished two treys early in the third period. That spark led to a 10-point Raiderette run that gave them the lead. They held it down the stretch to defeat Greenfield 38-28 in the Class 1A Semifinal.

By Tabitha Evans Moore, EDITOR & PUBLISHER

MURFREESBORO — After a sluggish and somewhat pensive first half, the Moore County Raiderettes came back in the second half and put up a huge 16-point third quarter to defeat the Greenfield Jackets 38-28 in the TSSAA Class 1A Semifinal. They will now play Pickett County in the Class 1A Championship on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at the Murphy Center. 

After going into halftime trailing by four, 20-16, the Raiderettes came out of the break swinging. Emma Sazonov — who came off the bench in the second period — set the tone with a trey on the Raiderettes first second half possession. Greenfield’s Anastyn Vujicic answered with a quick bucket underneath. Moore County missed a trey then Ellie Graham stole the ball on the next Jackets’ possession. She hit a fast break layup for two then stole the ball again on the next Greenfield possession and passed to Madison Dingler who hit a three to give Moore County back the lead with 6:36 to play in the third. Those quick eight points were part of a 10-point run. The Raiderettes never looked back

Raiderette defense holds Greenfield to eight second half points

Despite the offensive fireworks that launched the second half, it was the Moore County defense that stole the show. Following the 10-point run, the clever Raiderettes D kept the Jackets scoreless for the next five minutes and held them to just five points in the third period while putting up 16.  

They played smart, aggressive man defense in the second that seemed to be the antidote to Greenfield three-point prowess in the first half. The Jackets were four of eight from the perimeter in the first half and shot just one of three in the second half. 

“Coach switched us from zone to man, and that seemed to work better,” post Ellie Graham told us after the game. 

The switch found starters Madison Dingler (3), Ellie Graham (3), and Anna Harder (4) in foul trouble late in the game but all three finished the game without fouling out.

That aggressive man defensive seemed to take the wind out of Greenfield’s sails down the stretch. They scored just a single basket and one from the line in the final eight minutes. 

When we asked Emma Sazonov about the difference in the two halves, she told us Head Coach Chad Spencer reminded them of the stakes at halftime. 

“He asked us if we were ready to play our last game,” Sazonov said. “That got us going.” 

Another bright spot for the Raiderettes continues to be their depth. In the third period, sophomore Bella Tucker subbed in for Graham, who earned her third foul halfway through the third period. Greenfield pressed the sophomore but she never flinched. 

Ellie Graham led all scorers with 16 points followed by Madison Dingler with 13. Dingler was a perfect three-of-three from the charity stripe when Greenfield fouled her behind the perimeter line in the first period and she swished all three. Emma Sazonov came off the bench and scored seven. Katy Fletcher added two points. Rayana Fisher led for Greenfield with seven points.

The Raiderettes scored 11 points off turnovers and another four put-back points.

You can’t make the shots you don’t make and Moore County outshot Greenfield through four periods. They were 13 of 34 (38.2 percent) from the field and four of 15 (26.7 percent) from the perimeter. They managed eight or 13 (61.5 percent) from the line.

For comparison, Greenfield shot eight of 26 (30.8 percent) from the field and five of 10 (50 percent) from the perimeter. They were seven of nine ( 77.8 percent) from the line.

Moore County out rebounded Greenfield – battling for rebound after rebound. They earned 17 defensive rebounds and 26 total rebounds compared to Greenfields 12 defensive rebound and 14 total rebounds.

The Raiderettes will now move onto the TSSAA Class 1A Championship against Pickett County at the Murphy Center on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. As always, the TSSAA will broadcast games live on the NFHS Network or if you don’t have a subscription, The Lynchburg Times will be there and will post live score updates from our Facebook page. •

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