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Despite high expectations, the Trimble County Raider boys basketball team fell to Henry County in the first round of the 8th Region All A tournament Jan. 21.
As an early season favorite to win the coveted title, the Raiders hit the hardwood with high hopes, but the team’s low energy seemed to contribute to the 57-62 loss to the Wildcats.
Guard Aaron Law, one of five seniors on the team, put 7 points on the board during the first period, but it wasn’t enough as the Raiders trailed 13-16 at the buzzer.
In the second quarter, Trimble slowed the Wildcat’s fierce offense to outscore Henry 13-12 in the period. Although Trimble had balanced scoring on the floor, players had trouble controlling Wildcat forward Jacorri Baldwin, who, like Law, put 11 points on the board in the first half.
At halftime, Trimble trailed by two, 26-28.
The Wildcats returned from the locker room with intensity, outscoring the Raiders 17-11. With too little effort throughout the game, the team trailed by eight, 37-45, at the end of a lackluster period.
Finally in the fourth, the Raiders offense sparked. Down 38-51 with six minutes of play remaining, the team exploded to cut the deficit to six points at the one minute mark. Over the next 60 seconds, the gap closed to four, but Trimble couldn’t control the Wildcat force and fell 57-62 at the final buzzer.
“We came in thinking we were just going to win it and didn’t work hard every play until the end of the game. Our motto coming into the game was “Last Play;” play every play like it was your last play,” senior Christian Courtney said. “Unfortunately [because of] our lack of good effort … until the fourth quarter, our last play came sooner than what we expected.”
“They say offense sales the tickets, but defense wins the championship,” senior guard Cory Turner said. “Coach kept telling us great things happen from great opportunities, but we couldn’t take advantage of that.”
The 7-0 Raiders will meet the Wildcats again Feb. 17 at Henry County. This will be the third meeting of the season for the teams.
The Raiders play again Jan. 30 at Eminence before returning home Feb. 3 to face the Carroll County Panthers. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.