It’s starting to feel like Groundhog Day for the Lady Pioneers, only it isn’t even February yet.
Slow starts, missed layups and big losses are becoming a trend for Warren County, which is still winless following Tuesday’s 67-32 loss to Coffee County. Warren County has now started the season 0-6.
For the third straight game, the Lady Pioneers saw the clock running non-stop in the fourth quarter as the mercy rule was enacted. Quick fourth quarters have become frequent, always following the team’s slow beginnings.
After being outscored from the tip 13-0 by Tullahoma last week and 17-0 by Upperman Monday, Rhealee Johnson gave some hope the Lady Pioneers wouldn’t have another prolonged drought for the third straight night.
Johnson got a layup off a fast break in the opening minute, giving Warren County some energy in front of its home crowd. Coffee County quickly dashed its hopes, finishing the first quarter on a 16-2 run to lead 18-4 after the first quarter.
The deficit swelled to 31-10 by halftime as the Lady Raiders kept attacking. Coffee County kept up the pressure through three quarters, relying on full-court defense and the scoring of Bella Vinson to build a commanding lead.
Vinson finished a game-high 28 points, all coming in the first three quarters before she watched the majority of the fourth.
Not deterred, the Lady Pioneers kept clawing and found their groove in the game’s final nine minutes.
Warren County trailed 53-12 when Johnson got a putback that triggered a timeout from Lippe. From that point, Warren County put up 18 points in nine minutes – its first big showing on offense since the season opener.
Beth Vaughn hit a long two just before the third-quarter buzzer, then added a 3-pointer during the team’s big fourth quarter. Jaden Smartt chipped in two driving layups in the final period, both tough finishes as she weaved through defenders.
Freshman Mia Hobbs also added a late jumper, her first points as a Lady Pioneer.
Lia Wright scored a team-high seven points, all coming at the free-throw line.
Warren County will be back at home Friday against Tullahoma. Action is set to start at 6 p.m.