By Ed Greif
Two streaks ended Tuesday night for the Cumberland County basketball teams, when they split a pair of games with Coffee County to start the second half of the District 6AAA schedule.
Coach Will Foster's Jets (3-2,13-13) ended their four-game losing streak with a 63-51 win over the Red Raiders (1-4, 9-14), with Tayler Houston becoming the latest Jet to join the 1,000-point plateau.
"I am happy to have this thing over. This has been my goal for four years and I finally accomplished it tonight. My next goal is to win the district," said the senior, who just needed four points to reach that mark.
The Lady Jets' two-game winning streak ended with a 39-32 loss to the Lady Raiders (5-1, 13-11). CCHS fell to 0-5 and 7-17 overall.
CCHS 63, Coffee County 51: Dylan Qualls led the Jets with 20 points, three rebounds), followed by Houston (15 points, one rebound), Diegon Poore (10 points, one rebound, one assist, one steal), Logan Parsons (13 points, five rebounds, two assists, three steals), J. J. Miller (two points, two rebounds, one assist), Cade Smith (three points, two rebounds), Cameron O'Rourke (one assist) and Ty Tabor (one rebound).
Coffee County built a 12-7 lead on a put-back basket by Lance Crismond, but Qualls converted a layup to start a 7-3 run to slice the deficit to 15-14 by quarter's end. Houston scored three points with 6:09 left in the quarter, as "Let's go Houston, let's go Houston," echoed through the student section.
Houston hit the second of two free throws with 4:17 left in the half for his 1,000th career point to give his team a 24-18 lead to cap a 10-3 run. The Jets extended the lead to 29-22 on another Qualls' layup; however the Red Raiders finished the quarter with a 6-4 run to slice the deficit to 33-28 at the break.
The Jets built the lead to 39-31, but Coffee County cut into the lead to 41-37 with 2:09 left in the third quarter. Houston buried a jumper to help CCHS finish the quarter with a 8-0 run for the 49-37 advantage.
CCHS stretched the lead to 57-41, but the Red Raiders fought back to slice the lead to 59-49 with 1:36 remaining in the game. Two free throws by Parsons with 1:18 left helped his teammates finish the game with a 4-0 run and the victory.
As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Jets received a standing ovation from the home crowd.
Coffee County 39, CCHS 32: Courtney Smith poured in a career high 14 points with five rebounds and two steals to lead the Lady Jets, followed by Makenzie Iles (nine points, three rebounds, two assists), Gina Dick (two points, four rebounds, three assists), Alli Hyder (five points, one rebound, one assist), Victoria Lee, Rebekah Teeple (two points, one steal), Kelsie Eldridge, and Kassidy Sommer (three points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal).
The Lady Jets took a 4-2 lead on baskets by Teeple and Dick, but a layup by Ginny Claiborne triggered a 14-0 run to put the Lady Jets in a 16-4 hole. Smith converted two free throws with 10.7 seconds left to stop the bleeding a 16-6.
CCHS was two of eight from the field with six turnovers, while Coffee County was seven of nine with three turnovers.
Four points by Iles and two points by Smith helped CCHS outscore the Lady Raiders 6-0 to slice the lead to 16-12 at the break. The Lady Jets were three of nine from the floor with two turnovers, while holding Coffee County to zero for four with eight turnovers.
CCHS sliced the lead to 18-17 on a Hyder jumper, but a Coffee County 6-0 run upped the lead to 24-21. Two buckets by Smith and a trey by Iles tied the game at 24-24 with under four minutes left in the third quarter; however, Coffee County finished the stanza with a 4-2 run for a 27-26 lead.
Coffee County opened the final frame with an 8-0 run to take a 33-26 lead with 4:55 left, but CCHS reduced the deficit to 34-30 on another Smith jumper with 1:06 left.
A three-point play by Alaina Luck with 56.1 seconds left put the visitors ahead 37-30. The Lady Raiders would go on to post the 39-32 victory.
Schedule: CCHS travels to White County tonight and will host Warren County Tuesday for the annual "pinkout game." Senior night will be Feb. 9 against Rhea County, with CCHS wrapping up the regular season at Cookeville Feb. 11.