By CHIP CIRILLO, Courier Correspondent
MANCHESTER - Cannon County boys coach Matt Rigsby has mixed feelings about Friday's 67-45 win at Coffee County.
He's happy about the defense, but concerned about the offense.
"We've got a long way to go offensively, but defensively we can get after some teams and really force the issue for them offensively," Rigsby said. "They're a special bunch because they truly thrive off of their effort defensively. It sparks them offensively, it really does."
Rigsby believes the Lions (2-1) must do a better job racing the ball upcourt and executing their half-court offense.
Point guard Josh Ruehlen scored 13 points, leading three Lions in double figures. Briar Jakes added 11 and Marshall Mc Reynolds had 10.
"We forced a lot of turnovers and did what we wanted to on defense," said Cannon County forward Jacob Nave, who scored nine points. "We were a little shaky on the 3's."
The Lions led most of the way, holding a double-digit lead for much of the second half.
Guard-forward Wyatt Day led all scorers with 19 points, but he was the only Coffee County player in double figures.
"Unofficial - we had 25 turnovers and we gave up 14 offensive rebounds," said second-year Red Raiders coach J.D. Douglas. "Matt does a great job and I'll repeatedly say that over and over again. That's the kind of culture we're trying to get here - that kind of toughness that they have."
It was Coffee County's second game in as many nights, including Thursday's loss to Fayetteville. The Raiders lost their third straight game.
"We just never play well here and that's not a slight at what Coffee County has or what they don't," Rigsby said. "But it's my job as the coach to point out the negatives until we get better."
Cannon County was scheduled to play Warren County in its home opener on Monday after press time.
Cannon County hosts East Nashville on Friday and Middle Tennessee Christian on Saturday in the Mitch Wilson Classic.
East Nashville finished second in Class AA last season.
Cannon Co. 14 17 17 19--67
Coffee Co. 10 7 15 13--45
Cannon Co.--Briar Jakes 11, A.J. Daniel 5, Josh Ruehlen 13, Marshall McReynolds 10, Preston Campbell 2, Jacob Nave 9, Garrett McReynolds 8, Austin Martin 5, Anton Knox 4.
Coffee Co.--Addison Carter 2, Wyatt Day 19, Ty McGee 4, Jaden Chumley 3, Stephen Sullivan 2, Boone Riddle 3, J.P. Duncan 8, Grand Sadler 4.
3-pointers: CaC--Jakes 3. CoC--Day 1, Chumley 1, Riddle 1.