Harder’s 22 points help lift Raiders to 64-37 district win over Cornersville

Moore County senior Will Harder sails above a couple of Bulldog defenders for two points on Friday. Harder led for the Raiders with 22 points. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed Photography)

LOCAL SPORTS — Moore County jumped out early on Cornersville on Friday in Lynchburg and the starters never took their foot of the gas. The Raiders doubled the Bulldogs 16 first half points and saved their big scoring period for the third — out scoring Cornersville by 12. At the final buzzer, the Raiders earned a 64-37 win over the Bulldogs and improved their District 8 record to 2-2. Moore County and Cornersville are now tied for second place behind Fayetteville, who has yet to lose a district match up.

The Raiders (5-16, 1-2) and Bulldogs (8-7, 2-1) faced off for the first time in the 2021-22 season on Friday. Moore County came into the game fresh off a gritty 53-48 victory over Eagleville last Tuesday. The Raiders and Eagles battle for three periods with multiple lead changes. Then midway through the fourth period, Will Harder snagged two points to earn the go-ahead lead. Points by Colton Bateman, and Keller Morey helped build the lead to six points. With 38 seconds remaining, Will Baker hit one of his two shots from the line to seal the Moore County win. Baker led for Moore County against Eagleville with 14 points followed by Alex Copeland with 11. {To read our full coverage of that game, click here.)

Cornersville came into the Raider matchup securely in second place in the District 8A ranking after a 47-42 win at Eagleville. However, a Moore County win would allow them to tie Huntland and the Bulldogs for the number two spot. So you could say the Raiders were highly motivated.

Student section rattles Bulldog shooters

Cornersville got the ball off the tip off but couldn’t convert the possession into points. The Bulldogs blocked Moore County’s first shot, a Will Harder jumper. Undaunted, Harder got the ball seconds later and put it up for three points. Then, the two teams traded turnovers before Cornersville got on the boards with an inside layup to make it 3-2.

For the next two minutes the Raiders and Bulldogs traded baskets. Points by Keller Morey, Will Baker, and Alex Copeland gave the Raiders a one point advantage. Will Harder scored five unanswered points down the stretch to extend Moore County’s lead to 15-11 at the end of the first.

Colton Bateman scored the first points of the second period with a deep shot from the perimeter. As the Raiders got on a roll, so did the student section. With shouts of “defense, defense” ringing in his ears, the Bulldog’s center seemed rattled. His shots sailed wide or looped in and out of the basket. Following Bateman’s trey, Moore County’s Harder managed five unanswered to give the Raiders a 10 point lead at around the four minute mark. Cornersville managed just five points total in the second, giving Moore County a 32-16 halftime lead.

Cornersville shots just would not fall in the third period. They managed 12 to Moore County’s 24 points including three point shots from Colton Bateman, Keller Morey, and two from Will Harder. Bateman swished a midrange jumper at the buzzer to give Moore County a 56-28 lead going into the final period. The Bulldogs attempted a bit of a comeback in the final stanza as Raider Head Coach Justin Brown sent the freshmen in but it wasn’t nearly enough. At the final buzzer, Moore County defeated Cornersville 64-37.

Three Raiders score double digit points

Senior Will Harder led for the Raiders with 22 points followed by sophomore Keller Morey with 14 and senior Colton Bateman with 10. Sophomore Alex Copeland scored eight and junior Will Baker added another seven points. Freshman Peyton Martin also scored three.

The Raiders will play the second straight district home game next Friday against their rivals, the Huntland Hornets. Tip off will happen immediately following the girls game. For those who can’t attend in person, the Moore County Sports Network will broadcast the game on the NFHS Network or you can get live score updates throughout the game at The Lynchburg Times Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only locally-owned newspaper in Lynchburg and also the only woman-owned newspaper in Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}