Wilson’s three sinks Coffee in 2OT
By Sparta Live | January 23, 2011 12:00 am
Although the White County girls have a decided advantage in the overall series with Coffee County, the two have squared off in some thrillers throughout the years. Friday’s homecoming game was another one that went down to the wire.
The game, in fact, took two overtime periods for a winner to be decided as the teams were trying to keep within striking distance of district leader, Cookeville. The game was tied 11 times and saw 11 lead changes before the Warriorettes were able to finish off the 49-44 win.
Latha Wilson’s three-pointer with 37 seconds remaining in the second overtime period broke a 44-all tie. Loren Foster then added a pair of free throws with 5.2 seconds left sealing the victory.
The two senior members of the homecoming court combined to pour in 31 of the 49 Warriorette points in the game. Brittany Dodson led the way with 16 points, including four long-range shots. Miss Basketball, Kristin Jones, netted 15 and added eight rebounds.
Action through the first three quarters was at a slow pace. Neither team would lead by more than four points and that came in the first five minutes of the contest. Coffee County (11-7, 0-2) took a 6-2 lead with 3:52 left in the initial quarter. A pair of Dodson three pointers sandwiched around a Lady Raider bucket left the two teams knotted at eight after one quarter of play.
The Warriorettes would take the biggest lead in the second quarter. An old-fashioned three-point play by Jones with 1:25 left in the half gave WCHS a 15-12 lead. Coffee would score the final four points of the half to take a 16-15 lead into the locker room.
The third quarter was a seesaw affair the whole way. The largest lead either team had was two points and the score was tied four times in the quarter. Allyson Quillen’s buzzer beating three put the Warriorettes on top 26-25 going into the fourth quarter.
Things took a Coffee County turn from there. The Warriorettes would go the first five minutes of the fourth period without scoring a point. The Lady Raiders were able to push out to a 33-26 lead with 3:07 left in regulation. That seven point lead would be the largest of the game by either team.
Dodson broke the ice and got the momentum back on the maroon and gray side with a three pointer at the 2:51 mark cutting the WCHS deficit to four. After a Coffee turnover, Jones made it a two-point game. With the Lady Raiders trying to hold the ball, Quillen came up with a steal and was fouled on a lay-up with 1:26 remaining. She made one of the two free throws, but Jones came up with the rebound on the missed second shot and stuck it back in putting WCHS on top 34-33. Coffee answered with a pair of free throws to retake the lead with 1:04 left and then stole the inbounds pass. With 57 seconds left, they went back up by three with two more free throws.
This time, it was Foster’s turn to knock down the trey. Her long-range shot with 39 seconds left tied the score and would be the final points of regulation. There was still plenty of action though.
What might have been one of the biggest plays of the game came with 19.7 seconds left. Jones, despite having four fouls, stepped in and took a charge as Coffee County’s leading scorer, Kaitlin Thornton, was driving to the basket. Thornton led all scorers in the game with 17 points. She had all 17 at that point. The charge was her fifth foul and sent her to the bench to watch the final 19 seconds and both overtime periods.
The two teams traded traveling violations in the final 10 seconds and the Warriorette shot at the buzzer was no good forcing the first overtime.
Dodson opened the overtime with her fourth trey of the night giving WCHS an early three-point lead. Coffee County would not score in the extra period until just under a minute remaining when they drove and were fouled. They missed the free throw that would have tied the game, but got the rebound and were fouled again. They also missed those two free throws. Wilson would score her first points of the game when she made one of two free throws with 32 seconds left increasing the WCHS lead to two. With 11.9 seconds left, Coffee tied the score at 41 and that’s the way the overtime would end.
The Lady Raiders went 13 of 15 from the free throw line in the first four quarters, but went three of seven in the two extra periods.
Coffee opened the second overtime by missing a lay-up but put in two free throws at the 2:37 mark. Wilson made one of two with 1:56 left and then Coffee did the same six seconds later. That gave the Raiders a 44-42 advantage with 1:50 left. Wilson came very close to giving her team the lead on the ensuing trip down court, but her three pointer went almost all the way down and popped back out. Foster pulled the rebound and was fouled. She tied the score with both free throws at the 1:28 mark. Coffee County turned the ball over with 1:11 remaining. That set up Wilson’s game winning three. After her shot, Jones came up with a steal on the other end, but missed a pair of free throws giving Coffee another chance. Coffee County, who did not hit a three the entire game, missed their seventh attempt with 10 seconds left. The rebound was a tie ball with the alternating possession belonging to WCHS. Foster nailed down the win with her two free throws with 5.2 seconds remaining.
The Warriorettes shot 42.4 percent overall from the field. They shot better outside the arc than they did from two-point range. They were seven of 19 on two-point attempts and seven of 14 from three-point range. WCHS was 14 of 23 from the free throw line. Coffee County was 16 of 22. Overall, the Lady Raiders shot 43 percent from the field. They were 14 of 25 on two point attempts and zero of seven from three-point range.
Coffee County held a 23-17 rebounding advantage. Coffee County had one more turnover (20-19) than the Warriorettes.
Coach Bryan Haley was happy with the win that improved his team to 10-8 overall and kept them one game back of Cookeville at 2-1 in the 6AAA race.
“It was a great game, back and forth almost the whole way. It didn’t look good for us at one point in the fourth quarter. We just hung in there and battled. Our girls showed some maturity tonight. We didn’t dwell on our mistakes. We bounced back quickly. The girls played hard. We played several girls to try and slow down #33. We have to do a better job on her. Coffee County is big and physical. That was a big win for us. It should help get us going.
“Brittany’s three in the fourth quarter was huge. It changed the momentum. I have to take my hat off to Latha. She missed some free throws and was torn all to pieces. She came back and made a couple and then had a three go about as far down as it could without going in. She showed so much heart taking that shot again and knocking it down. She kept her head up.
“With homecoming and everything, it was still a bittersweet win for everybody. It was a big game because of the district and homecoming, but everyone is dealing with the death of Betty Farley. It was just a bittersweet night.”
The Warriorettes will try to wrap up the first half of the district schedule one game out of first place when they travel to Warren County Tuesday. The Lady Pioneers are 11-11 overall and 1-1 in the district. They lost to Cookeville 53-24 on Friday, but defeated Cumberland County 40-36 earlier in the week. The only other common foe with the Warriorettes is Tullahoma, with whom they split.
The game is slated for a 6 p.m. tip off, but once again, Mother Nature will have the say-so in whether the game goes off as planned as more snow is forecast.
WC – 8 7 11 11 4 8 – 49
CC – 8 8 9 12 4 3 – 41
White Co. (49) – Kristin Jones 15, Brittany Dodson 16, King 2, Wilson 5, Foster 7, Quillen 4.
Coffee Co.. (44) – Kaitlin Thornton 17, Ginny Clayborne 11, Tolliver 8, Lusk 8.
Records: WC 10-8, 2-1; CC 11-7, 0-2
Three point baskets – WC 7 (Dodson 4, Wilson, Foster, Quillen), CC 0. Rebounds – WC 17 (Jones 8, Wilson 5), CC 23 (Thornton 5, Clayborne 5, Tolliver 5). Assists – WC 9 (Dodson 2, King 2, Wilson 2),. Steals – WC 5 (Jones 2). Turnovers – WC 19, CC 20.