Raiders fall to Cornersville in final seconds

Home A Note from The Editrix Raiders fall to Cornersville in final seconds
the Raiders Will Baker
Will Baker drives to the hoop as a Cornersville Bulldog defends. Baker led for Moore County with 15 points. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — The height of a regulation high school basketball goal is 10 feet. When an opposing player with his arm stretched straight up approaches that, it’s a little hard to defend. That’s the story of last night’s Raiders versus Cornersville game in Lynchburg. Six foot something Bulldog Kel Ford scored all but two first half points for Cornersville and ended his night scoring 31 of the Bulldogs’ 43 points.

It was the second regular season meeting for the two District 9A teams. Moore County traveled to Cornersville on January 20 and defeated the Bulldogs 57-40. Ford was not available for that game. Moore County jumped out early that night – putting up 20 points while holding the Bulldogs to just a single basket in the first period. 

Raiders lead in the first half

The Raiders jumped out to an early lead again on Tuesday. Will Baker got the Raiders on the boards with a fast break layup on the second possession of the game. The Bulldogs then sent Alex Copeland to the line on Moore County’s next possession and he hit one of two to make it 3-0. Baker nabbed a steal a couple of plays later to give Moore County a 5-0 edge. Ford scored the first Cornersville points – a jumper at around the four minute mark.

Dawson White answered when Copeland dished him the ball down low for two points. Then Ford went inside for two more. With three minutes to play in the half, a tenacious Peyton Martin battled Ford under the basket for two Raider points to make it 9-4. Ford then finger-rolled the ball into the basket for the final points of the first period. With one chapter in the books, Moore County led 9-6.

Will Baker put in work in the second period scoring eight of Moore County’s 11 points. Free throws from Alex Copeland and Peyton Martin helped Moore County go into the break leading 20-18. Ford scored all but two of Cornersville’s second period points including a trey.

Raiders fall in final seconds of the fourth period

Peyton Martin battled inside for the rebound. Martin scored four points and played excellent defense down low for the Raiders. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

Ford took control in the third period – scoring all 13 of Cornersville points. One minute in, he scored underneath to tie the game and followed with a bucket, at around the seven minute mark, to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the game. Moore County kept it close with points by Keller Morey, Dawson White, and a trey by Will Baker to end the third period trailing by four points, 31-27.

The Raiders and Bulldogs battled back-and-forth to maintain that four-point gap through most of the fourth period. With a little over two minutes to play, Alex Copeland drove inside for two points to make it a one-point game. The two teams traded turnovers until the one minute mark, when Cornersville’s Hayden Grover scored to stretch the Bulldog lead to three points. Copeland answered with another basket inside and the Bulldogs called timeout with 32 seconds remaining as the crowd wondered if the “cardiac kids” had another last-second win in them.

Out of the break, Peyton Martin battled inside but couldn’t get the shot off – prompting a hasty Cornersville time out. On the Bulldog possession, refs called Alex Copeland for a technical foul – sending Bulldog Gage Lovell to the line. He hit both to make it 43-40 with six second remaining. Moore County wrapped up Ford on the next play – prompting a jump ball that went the Raiders’ way. `Moore County got the ball back with .9 seconds remaining. Copeland teed up for the game-winner but it hit the backboard just to the left of the basket. The final score was Bulldogs 43, Raiders 40.

Apropos of Senior Night, Will Baker led for the Raiders with 15 points followed by Alex Copeland with 11. Dawson White added six more and both Keller Morey and Peyton Martin contributed four points each.

The loss drops the Raiders to a 3-5 district record. The Bulldogs, who played the majority of their season without Ford, notched their first district win against Moore County. Securely in the number fourth spot in District 9 play, the Raiders will now prepare for a run in the district tournament. •

{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.}