After starting the season with a 29-6 loss at Coffee County, the Warren County Middle School sixth-grade girls team was eager to take out its frustrations on its next team. Tullahoma West just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Led by Elly Bain’s 19 points and a swarming defense, Warren County cruised to a 37-9 victory in its home opener.
“We came into the game wanting to rebound, take care of the ball and play with confidence and composure,” said WCHS coach Leanne Morrison. “We didn’t allow a second-chance point and were aggressive on both ends. It was a big step in the right direction.”
Warren County (1-1) struggled against a tenacious press by Coffee County in the opener, but Tullahoma’s guards couldn’t keep Bain in front of them.
Bain routinely was able to beat pressure and drive straight to the basket, usually finishing over defenders or earning trips to the foul line. Bain scored 10 of her 19 points in the first quarter, when Warren County built a 14-0 lead. Hope Gilley and Abby Graves each had two points in the period.
While Bain was able to get anywhere on the court she wanted, Tullahoma was met with Lady Pioneer defenders every time it had the ball. Warren County swarmed the visitors, often keeping Tullahoma from being able to get off a shot.
When the visitors did get a look, the Lady Pioneers cleaned the glass and pushed the pace.
Bain added two more runout layups in the second quarter while Haven Hasty hit a short jumper to put Warren County up 20-8 at halftime.
The home squad’s defense only tightened in the second half. The Lady Pioneers held Tullahoma without a field goal for the final 12 minutes, surrendering just a lone free throw midway through the third quarter before pitching a shutout in the last period.
On the other end, Morrison sent waves of players in as she searched for more offensive weapons. Hasty, Zoe Curtis, Madison Jones, Ava King and Graves responded by swishing jumpers, while Ella Matheny sank a pair of free throws.
“We bounced back from some first-game jitters. We still have to have more people wanting the ball to help our scoring and to tighten up our defensive rotations and box outs, but it’s getting better each outing,” said Morrison.
Warren County will be back in action Tuesday at home against Prescott South. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.