Raiders suffer frustrating six point loss at Culleoka

LOCAL SPORTS | Culleoka — Though they battled for the halftime lead and held it for the entire third period, the Raiders suffered a frustrating six-point loss on the road at Culleoka on Thursday. The final score was Moore County 51, Culleoka 57.

The Raiders came into the Culleoka game hot off a win. They beat Forrest on Tuesday in Chapel Hill. Plagued early in the season by illness and injuries, the Raiders came into the Forrest game at full strength.  All the pieces in place, they managed an impressive 43-33 over the Forrest Rockets – breaking a six game losing streak. Sophomore Dawson White led for the Raiders against the Rockets with 10 followed by fellow sophomore Alex Copeland with 9. {To read our complete coverage of that game, click here.}

Thursday’s game was the second meeting of the regular season for the Raiders and Warriors. On November 30, Culleoka eked out a 58-50 win over Moore County in Lynchburg.

Free throws in the final period seal the win for Culleoka

The Raiders got onto the boards first with a trey from senior Will Harder. The Warriors answered with a three point shot of their own. They managed a five-point run to pull ahead 18-9 with less than two minutes to play in the first period. Sophomore Alex Copeland swished a basket and got and “and one” on the foul to pull the Raiders back within six two possessions later. The score at the end of the first period was Moore County 12, Culleoka 18.

In the second, the Raiders and Warriors traded turnovers before back-to-back three point shots by sophomore Dawson White and Copeland tied the game at 18-18. A determined White drove inside for two more points to give Moore County the lead on their next possession. The Warriors answered on the next play – tying the score again at 20-20 then earned the lead back on the next play at the charity stripe. They got up by five points with less than two minutes to play before points by Harder, Copeland, sophomore Keller Morey, and White sent the Raiders into the locker room with a 28-25 lead at the half.

Moore County struck first after the break with a nothing-but-net trey from sophomore Wes Clifton. Three possessions later, the Warriors answered with their own three point shot to pull within one, 31-30. Morey and Copeland then combined on a six-point run to hand Moore County a 37-33 lead at the end of the third period.

Then things got chaotic. The Warriors put up 26 fourth period points to edge out the win. The refs sent the Warriors to the charity stripe for 15 points in the final stanza including multiple technical fouls. The second – issued after Keller Morey expressed frustration by hitting his hands on the floor after a contested shot – resulted in his ejection from the game. Morey will be required to sit out the next two games. In the final seconds, both sophomore Peyton Martin and White scored on back-to-back possessions to pull the Raiders within six. The final score was Moore County 51, Culleoka 57.

Alex Copeland led with 14 points followed by two other double digit scorers: Will Harder with 12 and Keller Morey with 10. Dawson White wasn’t far behind with nine point. Peyton Martin added four points and Will Baker scored a basket. Tavon Bagsby and Ranger Graham led for Culleoka with 19 points each.

The Raiders move on to their third away game of the week tonight as they travel to play the Cannon County Lions (4-7). The game tips off immediately following the girls’ game in Woodbury. If you plan to go, the GPS address is One Lion Dr.
Woodbury, TN 37190. Due to illness, the Moore County Sports Network student broadcasting team will not be making the trip. The Lynchburg Times will live blog the game. You can follow on our Facebook page.•

{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.}