Raiders tame Wildcats in Region 5A Quarterfinal game

Alex Copeland and Keller Morey go up for points against Wayne County on Saturday. They both scored 12 points against the Wildcats. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — It’s no secret to anyone who regularly attends MCHS games this basketball season that the Raiders have run a little hot and cold. In the District 9A Championship game last Tuesday, baskets just would not fall the good guys in Columbia blue’s way leading to a 65-33 loss. {To read our full coverage of the game, click here.}

Saturday night’s Region 5A Quarterfinal game against Wayne County felt like the exact opposite. Moore County could not miss … from the paint, from the free throw line, and from the perimeter. The Raiders used 15 three-point shots to lift themselves to a 83-60 win against the visiting Wildcats and earn another game in Region 5A action.

Raiders use 15 three-point shots to earn 83-60 win

The Wildcats scored first with a layup in the paint off the tip off. Keller Morey answered with a three-point shot on the Raiders opening possession to make it 3-2. It was the first of 15 for the Raiders. The two teams then traded missed basket before a Wildcat fouled Will Baker underneath. Baker made both shots to make it 5-2. The Raiders then fouled and sent a Wildcat shooter to the line. He made one of his two shots to make is 5-3.

Several turnovers later, the Wildcats sent Will Harder to the line. He made both shots to give Moore County a four point lead, 7-3. Then the trey’s began to rain down. Colton Bateman drained a trey to pull the Raiders ahead 10-3. The Wildcats answered with their own three. Moore County’s next perimeter shot bounced in and out of the basket. The Wildcats rebounded, dribbled down court, and made another three to pull them within one, 10-9. Wes Clifton answered with his own three and then the Wildcats answered again to make it 13-12. With 44 second remaining, Harder drove hard in the paint to give Moore County a two point lead at the end of the first period, 15-12.

Alex Copeland made the first basket of the second period with a mid-range shot. Two possessions later, he hit basically the same shot to make it, 19-12. The Wildcats responded with a perimeter basket and then Will Baker answered with his own trey. The Wildcats responded again with a trey and this time Copeland drained a three from the outside line prompting a Wayne County time out. With 5:13 to play in the second, the Raiders led by seven, 25-18.

Moore County then held Wayne County to six points over the next five minutes while putting up 13 points. Will Harder scored 11 of those Moore County points to help lift the Raiders to a 38-24 half time lead.

Moore County pulled away for good in the third with a big 31 point period including perimeter shots by Alex Copeland, Keller Morey, Will Harder and two treys by Wes Clifton, including a buzzer beater to make it 69-42 at the end of the third stanza.

Fourth quarter points by Keller Morey, Will Harder, and Will Baker built the lead to 80-54. Then, Raider Head Coach Justin Brown sent in his bench. Will Parker came in off the bench to make the final trey of the game. The final score was Moore County 83, Wayne County 60.

Will Harder led for Moore County with 28 points followed by three other Raiders in double digit scoring. Will Baker put up 16 and both Alex Copeland and Keller Morey added 12 each. Wes Clifton made three three-point shots for nine points. Will Parker and Colton Bateman contributed three each. Tyler Moser led for Wayne County with 22 points followed by Landyn Prater with 19.

The win advanced Moore County to a Regional Semifinal game against Richland in Region 5A Tournament host Wayne County on Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. Richland beat Cornersville 52-36 on Saturday. {For a complete Class 1A West Regional Boys Tournament bracket, click here.}

Wayne County High School is located between Columbia and Jackson around two hours from Moore County. If you plan to attend Monday’s game the GPS address for Wayne County High School is 707 South Main Street in Waynesboro. Those who can’t attend in person can watch the Moore County Sports Network Broadcast on the NFHS Network or follow The Lynchburg Times Facebook page for live score updates. •

{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.}