The driving rain on the way to Tullahoma on Wednesday was a sign of things to come when the Warren County Middle School Lady Pioneers took the floor against Coffee County.
The Lady Pioneers were flooded with turnovers during a 35-9 loss in the first round of the CTC tournament at Tullahoma High School.
The loss ends the season for the WCMS 7-8 grade girls with a 9-10 record.
“I thought defensively, we played pretty great,” said second-year coach Tara Koran. “We stopped their big girl, but they hit four 3-pointers, surprisingly. Our box-and-one defense worked early, but they were content with holding the ball at halfcourt until we came out.
“We had to go man and work to protect the paint. It opened them up outside and they knocked down big shots and we had no answer.”
Overshadowing the game itself was a right leg injury suffered by Lady Pioneer Paige Sweeton with 1.9 left in the third. Sweeton took an inbounds pass and was weaving her way through the Coffee County defense in hopes of launching a shot before the third-quarter buzzer. But she got tangled up dribbling between two defenders and hit the court with a jarring thud.
When Sweeton was unable to get up and it was apparent she required advanced medical attention, an ambulance was called and she was wheeled from the gym on a stretcher.
Sweeton underwent testing Thurday which found that her femur was fractured in two places.
As for the game itself, Coffee County maintained a 14-6 lead at halftime. The Lady Pioneers desperately needed to find a hot hand in the second half, but WCMS was unable to even find a shot.
The Lady Pioneers started the third quarter with six straight turnovers and didn’t take their first shot until nearly four minutes had expired in the third. Bella Bain finally put WCMS on the board in the second half with a bucket in the paint, but by that time it was 20-8 and the Lady Raiders were well on their way to victory.
Kyra Perkins led WCMS with four points, followed by Emeri Cummings and Bain with two each, and Alexxia Verge with one.
Alivia Reel was the top scorer for Coffee County with 13.