Refs call five technical fouls in Raiders 64-55 loss to Huntland

Will Harder goes up for two points versus Huntland last Friday in Lynchburg. Harder led for the Raiders with 19 points. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Reed)

LOCAL SPORTS | Lynchburg — Rivalry games get intense but Friday night’s Moore County, Huntland game felt next level. If things got a little heated in their previous match up, then Friday night’s game was a pot that boiled over. Referees called five technical fouls and threw one Raider fan out of the game.

Refs called 21 team fouls on the Raiders compared to just 11 total team fouls on Huntland. Those fouls resulted in 23 Hornet points from the charity stripe. At the final buzzer, Moore County dropped a district game at home to Huntland by a final score of 64-55.

Three Moore County technical fouls in the first half

Moore County started strong in the first period before allowing Huntland to score nine unanswered in the last two minutes. Huntland got on the boards first with a jumper off the tip off then Will Harder answered with a trey. Huntland scored again by driving inside on their next play. One possession later, Harder stole the ball, made a fast break, and drew the foul on the layup. His “and one” basket gave Moore County the lead. Points by Colton Bateman, Keller Morey, and Alex Copeland got the Raiders up 13-8 with a little over three minutes to play.

And then things got intense. Following a Moore County time out, the referee called a technical on Raider Head Coach Justin Brown after he questioned a foul call on Peyton Martin. While a red faced referee pointed his finger inches form Coach Brown’s face, the Huntland shooter made all four baskets to tie the game. The Raiders were dinged with another foul on the following drive. The first period ended Moore County, 13, Huntland 17.

There were three lead changes in the second period. Will Harder got Moore County on the boards first after shooting, missing, getting his own rebound, and putting it back up for second chance points. He would go on to score six of Moore County’s 10 second period points including a basket that tied the game 21-21 around the three minute mark. Then, Moore County received a second technical of the second period this one on Keller Morey. Those two shots allowed Huntland to pull ahead by two. Refs called another Moore County foul immediately after sending the Hornet back to the line for two points. Alex Copeland pressed inside and through defenders for for two Raider points on the following play. The Hornets then answered with a buzzer beater from the perimeter to go into the locker room up by seven.

Raiders battled back in the second half

Moore County used three point shots by Alex Copeland and Will Baker to hang with the Hornets in the the third period. Four third period points by Will Harder and two by Colton Bateman helped the Raiders score 15 in the third period to Huntland’s 16.

Moore County slowly closed the gap in the fourth period. Colton Bateman led the charge with a perimeter shot on the Raiders first possession to pull within five, 46-41. Huntland answered then Bateman, scored three unanswered to make it a four point game once again. A minute later, Will Baker drained this third three point shot of the night to get Moore County with one point, 52-51.

Huntland answered with a basket then two possessions later a tenacious Kelley Morey and Colton Bateman refused to lose possession without a score. Morey put the ball back up for third chance points and got them to keep it a one point game. It was the last point the Raiders would score before their final bucket by Alex Copleland. With 53 seconds remaining, refs called six fouls in a row including an intentional foul, this time against Colton Bateman. Those five points from the line helped Huntland secure the win.

In a bizarre final twist, refs called technical fouls number four and number five on Huntland’s Braylen Phillips for unsportsmanlike conduct. Officially, those fouls ejected him from the game though it did not matter because there was no more time on the clock.

Will Harder led for the Raiders with 19 points. Colton Bateman followed with 11 points. Alex Copeland added 10 and Will Baker swished another nine. Keller Morey scored four and Sawyer Parks came off the bench to add a basket.

The Raider play their third straight home game on Tuesday against Fayetteville City. 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.}