Raiders blast Rockets 43-33 on the road

LOCAL SPORTS | Chapel Hill — Illness and injuries plagued the Moore County High School Raiders early this season but on Tuesday, all the pieces came together and the Raiders managed an impressive 43-33 over the Forrest Rockets – breaking a six game losing streak.

The Raiders went into the match up fresh off a narrow three point loss at home against the Tullahoma Wildcats last Friday. The Raiders gave the Tullahoma Wildcats all they wanted in Lynchburg. With seconds to play and Tullahoma leading by a mere three points, the never-say-die Raiders nearly got off a game tying buzzer beater. Instead they settled for a three point, 63-60, loss and a bit of a chip on their shoulder. Sophomore Alex Copeland led for Moore County against Tullahoma with 22 points followed by senior Will Harder with 16 points.

Tuesday’s game was the second match up between the District 7 and District 9 rivals. On December 3, Forrest managed a 54-38 win over the Raiders in Lynchburg. {Follow this link to read our full coverage of that game.} Moore County played without several key players that night including Colton Bateman, Wes Clifton, Will Harder, and Peyton Martin. All but Bateman were available for the game in Chapel Hill.

Rockets get close, twice, but the Raider pull it out

The Raiders jumped out to a quick 12-9 first period lead over the Rockets on Tuesday thanks to baskets by Dawson White, Will Baker, Will Harder, and a trey by Wes Clifton. Forrest scored just four total points in the second period including just two points in the last four minutes of the period. Alex Copeland drove inside for the last two Raider baskets of the half to make the halftime score Moore County 21, Forrest 13.

In the third period, Forrest managed to pull within four points of the Raiders thanks to back-to-back buckets. With the scoreboard showing 23-19, Peyton Martin sat just under the boards waiting for his opportunity. Alex Copeland dished it to him, and he went up for the easy two point. Forrest fouled him on the attempt, which earned him an “and one” basket. It fell giving the Raiders a for comfortable seven point lead. Forrest answered and then buckets by Dawson White, Will Harder, and Copeland gave the Raiders a nine point lead to end the third period.

The Rockets made a run at the lead several minutes into the final stanza with a six-point unanswered run to make it 31-28. Then points by Alex Copeland, Will Baker, Peyton Martin, and Keller Morey pulled it out down the stretch. Will Harder made the finally bucket of the night handing Moore County the 43-33 win.

Sophomore Dawson White led for the Raiders with 10 followed by fellow sophomore Alex Copeland with 9. Other contributing Raiders were senior Will Harder (8), junior Will Baker (6), freshman Peyton Martin (5), sophomore Wes Clifton (3) and sophomore Keller Morey (2). Hunter Bennett led for the Rockets with 11 points.

The Raiders travel for their second of three straight away games on Thursday as they head to Culleoka. Culleoka beat the Raiders 58-50 in Lynchburg on November 30. The school is located at 1921 Warrior Way in Culleoka about an hour and a half from Lynchburg. Due to illness, the Moore County Sports Network student broadcasting team will not be making the trip but Culleoka will broadcast on the NFHS Network. You can access it at this link. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently 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.}