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Lady Pioneers beat Cumberland

It wasn’t perfect and sometimes it wasn’t pretty, but the Warren County High School girls basketball team found a way Friday night to end its three-game losing streak.
The Lady Pioneers defeated the Cumberland County Lady Jets 34-28 to earn their first victory in 2013 and first District 6-AAA win of the season.
Warren County (13-11) entered Friday’s contest on a sour note as New Year’s brought with it lopsided losses to district opponents White County and Coffee County along with border rival DeKalb County.
Lady Pioneer coach Erick Baird got back to basics this week after Tuesday’s loss to the Lady Tigers as he preached defense and making the easy shots to his team in practice.
While the Lady Pioneers weren’t perfect against the Lady Jets, coach Baird was pleased with the progress.
“We still have to finish better around the rim because 34 points won’t consistently win in our district, but our defense made it stand up against the Lady Jets,” said Baird. “We have some very smart players who recognize what other teams want to do. We interrupted their offensive continuity, cut the cutters and played solid team defense.”
Unlike Tuesday’s tussle with the Lady Tigers, which saw the Lady Pioneers take seven minutes to get on the board, Warren County was much sharper at the start of Friday’s district battle.
Megan Dishman started the Lady Pioneers off with a layup when she entered the game after two minutes. Dishman then turned over the offense to sophomore Bri Melton, who scored six points in the first quarter.
Melton’s 3-pointer in the waning seconds gave the Lady Pioneers a 9-6 lead, but Cumberland County cut the lead to one with a buzzer-beating shot before the end of the period.
Melton’s offense slowed down in the second quarter as the Lady Jets focused most of their attention on the shooting guard, but passing out of double teams paid immediate dividends for the Lady Pioneers.
Melton hit Brittany Myers with a pass that led to a 3-pointer for the sophomore, then a dish from Melton to Lexy Holmes added a second long-range shot that put the Lady Pioneers ahead 17-11. The Lady Jets added a late free throw to make it 17-12 going into halftime.
After the break, Melton gave the Lady Pioneers their biggest lead at the time when she sank a 3-pointer to begin the third quarter.
Cumberland County closed the gap to five midway through the third, but Melton and Myers had back-to-back uncontested layups to end the quarter that put the Lady Pioneers up 26-17 with one period to play.
An 8-1 run to start the fourth quarter brought the Lady Jets within two, but a fortunate roll for the Lady Pioneers made sure Cumberland County never erased the lead completely.
Clinging to a 27-25 advantage, Warren County watched as Rebekah Teeple took aim at the lead with a 3-pointer from the right wing. The shot was halfway down before spinning out and into the hands of Myers, who snatched her eighth rebound.
Myers made another hustle play moments later when she was able to track down a long lead pass from Jessie Newby and save it to point guard Camerie Martin. Martin was fouled seconds later, where she went to the line and split a pair of free throws to give the Lady Pioneers a three-point cushion.
Martin ended up hitting five free throws in the final two minutes to preserve the Lady Pioneer lead. Myers added two makes from the charity stripe with 32.5 seconds to go as Warren County won for the first time since Dec. 29.
Melton finished with a team-high 12 points, followed by Myers with seven.
The Lady Pioneers will look to even their district record Tuesday night in Cookeville against the district-leading Lady Cavaliers. Cookeville, which has a 3-0 District 6-AAA record, will welcome Warren County with action beginning at 6 p.m.

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