Courier Sports Editor
Cory Henley’s defensive contributions are somewhat
overshadowed by his offensive flair but it was a combination
of both that helped Cannon County improve to 3-0 with a
50-41 win against Coffee County at Robert A. Harris
Gymnasium Monday (Nov. 19).
Henley led the Lions with 19 points and was the only Lion to
reach double figures. It was his defense; however, that
turned the game. Henley, who had five steals, collected one
of his three fourth-quarter steals off a Jarrett Melton
deflection and went coast-to-coast for a layup that provided
a 35-33 lead the Lions wouldn’t relinquish.
Henley then stuck a dagger, delivering his only 3-pointer of
the night following a Coffee County turnover to stretch the
lead to 38-33 with 3:48 remaining. He came up with another
steal that led to points on the following possession.
“This was a good team win,” Henley said. “Everybody
took care of the ball and we shared the ball. Our defense is
a strong point and we all take pride in our defense.
That’s a big key for our team and it showed (against
Tanner Larson had another solid game with nine points and
six rebounds. Tommy Mitchell added seven points and Jarrett
Melton finished with six points and four assists.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well but we were patient in
the halfcourt setting,” Cannon County Head Coach Matt
Rigsby said. “Our guys are not accustomed to the halfcourt
setting and Coffee County did a good job of what they wanted
to do. We needed to face the halfcourt setting.”
It was a dogfight throughout.
Cannon County got off to a good start and led 17-10 after
the first quarter but the Lions were 2-of-9 from the field
in the second quarter when they scored just five points and
allowed the Red Raiders to pull to within 22-20 at the half.
“We just weren’t able to knock down some shots during
that stretch,” Henley said. “We were getting some good
looks. It wasn’t turnovers. We handled the ball well. We
just didn’t finish some shots.”
Henley was not the only Lion to make big plays down the
stretch. Ethan Bryson’s offensive rebound and putback,
Jacob Nave taking charge and Garrett McReynolds keeping a
play alive with a diving effort for a loose ball are just a
few. They all occurred in the final 2:29.
“We had several guys step up and make big plays,” Rigsby
said. “We knew scoring would be tough. This is like a
district game for us and, overall, it was a pleasing effort
early in the season. I thought we were pretty solid
Henley was 8-of-8 from the free throw line, including six
makes in the final 39 seconds, to seal the win.